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Optical instrumentation has many benefits over other technologies for analysis of particles in produced water. The technique sets itself apart from other rapid particle-characterization methods because of its morphological advantages. In addition to measuring suspended oil-in-water concentrations, optical techniques coupled with advanced data analysis and pattern matching can be used to effectively distinguish, and then classify, two particles of identical size and shape. This article illustrates the efficacy of various imaging techniques for use in real-time characterization and quality assurance of produced water.
OIL DROPLETS IN PRODUCED WATER
Assuming relative velocities are low enough, oil suspended in water will take on a spherical shape. When viewed using two-dimensional microscopic means, the droplets appear as circles of the same diameter. Due to differences in refraction indices of both oil and water, the light is focused and appears bright in the middle with a dark ring around the edge.
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