The Coalescing Valve is a new and groundbreaking valve concept that will shape the future of petroleum processing. Due to its inventive new the design, the Coalescing Valve improves the efficiency of downstream process equipment. Ultimately, this will allow for more compact and efficient process plants, longer and more profitable production, and reductions in climate gas emissions and environmental impact.
In this project, the primary objective is to bring the Coalescing Valve concept through a full-scale prototype test in a controlled laboratory environment. This involve designing and building a full-scale Coalescing Valve prototype. Central for the Coalescing Valve is proper utilization of coalescence and droplet growth during multiphase flow control. We will therefore research, develop, and verify hypotheses related to how various properties of the valve affect the droplet coalescence. Through the research, we will identify what constitutes optimal coalescence, and learn the best ways to implement this knowledge in the Coalescing Valve design. The research will involve testing various geometrical features of the valve, study physical and chemical properties of petroleum flows, and learn more about the interaction between the Coalescing Valve and the efficiency of the downstream process equipment.
Following the startup September 2021, the project has completed Activity 1: Define project plan, Technology Qualification Program (TQP) and accept criteria. We are now working on Activity 2: Research coalescence, disc design and material, where we are currently formulating test matrixes, and planning and preparing the test setup. The project is progressing according to the plan.
Turbulence in traditional flow control units like valves and pumps breaks droplets of oil in water and water in oil. The consequence of droplet breakup is significantly reduced efficiency of downstream separation processes. Together with the participating companies, we aim at introducing a groundbreaking new concept; the new Coalescing Valve technology combines flow control and droplet coalescence, two normally counteracting processes. The energy released during flow control is used constructively to enlarge the size of the oil droplets, thereby boosting downstream separation processes.
The Coalescing Valve is a potential quantum leap within petroleum processing, and has positive effects on both oil and water quality. Tie-backs that today are constrained by space and weight are enabled through leaner unmanned automatized/digitalized production systems, using the Coalescing Valve. By facilitating fewer, more compact and efficient downstream treatment steps, the Coalescing Valve gives higher energy efficiency by reducing the overall energy consumption and demand. This in turn reduces climate gas emissions and the overall environmental impact of the process plant. These next generation production plants will enable exploitation of particularly difficult regions that are environmentally vulnerable, less profitable, and marginal. Through the Coalescing Valve, the objective of reaching a cleaner production, resulting in reduced emissions and discharges to the environment, is met with significantly less technical and chemical efforts, at lower capital and operating expenditure than today.
The innovative Coalescing Valve builds upon previous research developments and scientific literature. The concept and underlying principles are however far from fully understood. Extensive research on fundamental principles of coalescence and how to best apply this new knowledge will be undertaken while optimizing and qualifying the Coalescing Valve for long-term industrial multi-use.