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Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater

Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater improves crude

oil dehydration
The Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater is
the single most effective method of crude
oil dehydration. Since its introduction in
the 1970s, it has out performed
mechanical and conventional AC
electrostatic treaters in hundreds of
applications. This treater provides lower
operating temperatures, higher
throughput rates, and lower BS&W
content, while handling larger volumes in
a smaller vessel.

Innovative AC/DC design

accelerates coalescence,
improves efficiency
The Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater
consists of a pressure vessel with a
heating/degassing section and firetubes,
an oil spillover box, and a coalescing Typical Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater
section with metered orifice distributors
(figure 1). In place of the conventional Dual Polarity® outperforms the The benefits of this unique
alternating current (AC) electrical system, single field systems design are:
the Dual Polarity® Treater uses a system Using the same dependable AC power
with both AC and DC fields. supply as a conventional electrostatic
treater, the Dual Polarity® Treater splits • The Dual Polarity® field delivers twice
The crude oil emulsion enters the Dual the high voltage, with rectifiers, into the voltage of an AC field, while
Polarity® Treater and flows downward positive/negative components. Pairs of using the same power supply/
over a hood baffle. Free water separates electrode plates are charged in transformer requirements as an AC
immediately and is not heated, which opposition. Water droplets entering the field.
boosts heating efficiency and saves fuel. field are elongated and attracted to one
The hood baffle also helps eliminate or the other plate, accepting the charge • Because of the unchanging polarity
firetube scaling by keeping the free water of the electrode plate they are of the DC field, water droplets have
from coming directly into contact with approaching. time to respond by migrating
the firetube. between electrodes. Movement is
virtually non-existent in a pure AC
Oil and emulsion is heated as it flows up fluid due to the very short cycle
past the firetube. Larger water droplets duration.
coalesce and separate, while smaller water
droplets continue with the oil as it flows • Once water droplets approach one of
into the coalescing section. Then, these the electrode plates, they become
remaining water droplets are subjected to charged with the same high voltage
the AC/DC electrostatic fields, causing static charge that is on that plate. In
them to coalesce and settle to the bottom a pure AC field no net charge is
of the vessel. imparted to water droplets; only the
attraction of polarization is available
to cause coalescence.
Figure 1 NATCO Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater

Issue 7 09.02 Page 1241-A1

Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater
DC field forces water droplets into conventional treaters. The Dual Polarity®
collision course for faster process creates larger droplets than
coalescence conventional AC units. These droplets fall
In an emulsion containing thousands of through the opposing emulsion flow
water droplets, roughly half will accept more easily so more oil can be processed
positive charges and the other half, in a given size vessel. For example, with
negative. Particles are electro-kinetically 32.5º API gravity crude, the throughput
driven toward the plate of opposite static increase with a DP treater is 29%, up
charge head-on and coalesce. When they from 70 to 90 as shown in Figure 7. That
are large enough, gravity will overcome means the Dual Polarity® Treater is ideal
Figure 5 Decreased operating temperature
the DC field which suspends them for offshore production platforms, housed
between the plates, and they fall to the arctic operations and for terminals where
water phase (Figure 4). large volumes are handled.

Lower operating temperatures

mean lower fuel costs
The Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater is
designed to operate at temperatures 15ºF
lower than a conventional electrostatic
Figure 6 Percent loss by volume vs. temperature
treater, and up to 60ºF cooler than
ordinary heater treaters. The dual polarity
electrostatics provide for more complete
Figure 2 Electrode configuration
dehydration. Consequently, it can process
at higher viscosities, which means less
heat is required to lower the viscosity of
the oil at processing conditions. It
provides sizeable savings in fuel costs for
any gravity of crude oil. For example,
with 32.5ºF API gravity crude at 10,000
bopd and 1,000 bwpd, the Dual Polarity®
Treater achieves a 15ºF reduction in Figure 7 Increased rates
temperature. This produces a savings of Figure 3 Electrostatic fields
1,156,250 btu/hr. At 60% heat transfer,
this results in a fuel savings of 46,250
scf/day (Figure 5).

The Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater For more information on NATCO Dual Polarity®
may operate at the minimum crude oil Electrostatic Treater or other NATCO Group
products contact:
inlet temperature, resulting in additional
fuel savings and eliminating the need for NATCO Group Head Office
a heating system in the vessel. Houston, USA
Tel: +(1) 713 683 9292
Also reduces volume loss, Figure 4 Electro-kinetic droplet movement between NATCO Canada
produces more oil to sales DC Electrodes Calgary, Canada
The lower operating temperature of the Tel: +(1) 403 236 1850
Benefits Email:
Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater also
• More crude to sales Scomi NATCO JV
results in less vaporization and loss of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
light ends from the oil. Using the same • Higher gravity crude to sales Tel: +(60) 32080 5080
example of 10,000 bopd, the 0.25% • Lower fuel usage Email:
decrease in vapor loss, achieved by the • Reduced chemical consumption Axsia Group
• Less crude inventoried in the treater Gloucester, England
DP treater, means an increase of 25 bopd Tel: +(44) 1452 833800
produced (Figure 6). • Products sold, not stored Email:
• Lower BS&W cuts Axsia Howmar
Increased throughout rates • Better control of gas Btu content Camberley, England
The Dual Polarity® Electrostatic Treater • Rapid recovery from upsets Tel: +(44) 1276 681101
requires less space because the vessel can • Advanced, yet most reliable
handle much higher flow rates than technology available

Issue 7 09.02 Page 1241-A2