Experimental Investigation of Polyvinylpyrrolidone for Application as a Demulsifier for Water-in-Oil Emulsion

Mysara Eissa Mohyaldinn, Logeswuran Rammudo, Muhammad Ayoub*
Petroleum Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia

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© 2017 Mohyaldinn et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Petroleum Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, 32610, Malaysia; Tel: 0060-104260280; E-mail:



Emulsification of produced immiscible mixed liquid of oil and water is a problem frequently recognized in surface production facilities in oil fields. The formed emulsions are required to be demulsified to avoid the negative consequences on piping and processing equipment. Nowadays, chemical demulsification is a preferable method to avoid or retard emulsification during the process of oil treatment.

Materials and Methods:

In the present study, Polyvinylpyrrolidone, poly-[1-(2-oxo-1-pyrrolidinyl)-ethylene] has been experimentally investigated as a chemical demulsifier for water-in-oil emulsion formulated by mixing a crude oil with synthesized oilfield produced water. Oilfield brines were synthesized by dissolving NaCl in deionized water to obtain salinity similar to the oilfield produced water. The sample of water-oil emulsion was prepared by agitation process at the condition of controlled rpm speed, ambient temperature and concentration of emulsifying agent. Stability of the emulsion was investigated using Turbiscan MA 2000 instrument.


The efficiency of the demulsification was screened using Bottle Test. It has been found that Polyvinylpyrrolidone, poly-[1-(2-oxo-1-pyrrolidinyl)-ethylene] accelerates the separation of the emulsion as compared to blank ones (with no addition of PVP). A maximum demulsification performance of the PVP was observed at an optimum concentration of 60 ppm.

Keywords: Chemical demulsification, Demulsifier, Emulsion, Oil fields, PVP, Water-oil mixture.