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DMW-8660 De-Sand Additive
Eliminates Waste and Slop Oil Treating Completely

by Dr. Franklin Foster, 2006
[note: this article made possible by support and funding from the Petroleum Society of CIM, Lloydminster Section]
(photos courtesy of Baker Petrolite)

De-sand Tank and Battery Installation
Typical De-sand Tank at Battery Installation

One of the facts of life in the Heavy Oil Patch is that we are not producing pure crude oil.  Rather, what comes out of our wells is a mixture of crude oil, salt water, sand and a variety of other solids, liquids and gasses.   One of the biggest challenges over the years has been to separate these constituents.  To accomplish this end, there are not many things that have not been tried; whether that means: settling, heating, shaking and/or treating with chemical compounds.  DMW-8660 is a recent entry in the chemical treatment of the mixture to recover what was previously waste oil.

Oil solids

Some results of Chemical Treatment of
an oil, solids water mixture
The example on the left shows no separation
The centre sample shows some separation
The left sample shows good separation with
solids on the bottom, a light layer of water
in the middle, and oil on the top.

         Efforts to separate our crude mixture into its constituent parts are costly and time consuming.  In addition, since all methods are inefficient, there has always been some oil lost in the disposal of waste.  Not only does this pose an environmental impact but there are labor, trucking, and other costs associated with disposal.  On top of all of this, in light of current oil prices, oil lost to waste comes right off the bottom line.

         Two of the more popular waste recovery techniques are batch tank treating and plant onsite recovery.  In the first, materials are trucked to a central tank where heat and/or chemicals are applied.  Then the separated fluids are removed, leaving a sand oil mixture behind.  In the second method, attempts are made to skim fluids from de-sand and water tanks into a separate tank, where heat and/or chemicals are applied.

         At this point experts at Baker Petrolite asked the question as to whether it would be possible to reduce the oil content in the waste mixture by improving the de-sand process, by adding a chemical to the make-up water in a way that would be analogous to adding soap when you wash your car.  If something could be found to do this, you would have clean sand, and the oil would remain in the fluid mixture.

        Various concoctions of chemicals were tried and finally one began having startling results.  The concoction was named DMW-8660 and the results were so impressive that a pilot project was arranged to test it further in field conditions.  This pilot project achieved even more exciting results.  Oil carryover in the waste sand was reduced by 97%.  In the field, this could mean that batch treating of slop oil could be eliminated completely.  Even the disposal water was cleaner, with oil traces reduced to less than 50 ppm.

        Futher field testing showed that the DMW-8660 could be applied most effectively during the de-sand phase at a rate of 1 liter per 5 cubic meters of water.  Later, the Bruin BR5000 Chemical Injection Pump proved to be the ideal means of injecting the chemical compound along with the de-sand wash water.  Among the benefits, Baker Petrolite claims  are reduced costs associated with solid waste disposal, greatly reduced trucking of waste oil, and more oil recovered to go into the sales tanks. 

         The folks at Baker Petrolite are excited about the potential for DMW-8660 De-Sand Water Additive to impact the Heavy Oil Industry.  They claim the result will be as noticeable as going from a water only car wash, to washing your car with the latest soaps, degreasers, bug removers, etc.  That is to say, very noticeable improvements in clean sand, water, and oil with not only costs savings but added revenues as well.