Recent demulsification methods of crude oil emulsions – brief review

Saidulla Faizullayev, Akbota Adilbekova*, Wojciech Kujawski, Mojtaba Mirzaeian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


The oil industry faces with crude oil emulsions formation issue. It is a common problem for the most of oil- producing countries around the world, including the Republic of Kazakhstan. Mainly, water-in-oil type of emulsions (or reverse emulsions) are formed during oil extraction and transportation. The presence of water in crude oil causes an increase in the cost of oil processing and transportation and consequently increases the cost of oil refinery products. It also induces corrosion of equipment when oil is extracted and transported. In this paper, several major methods of demulsification based on chemical, membrane, electric, magnetic, microwave sepa- ration used for the breaking of water-in-oil emulsions in recent years are reviewed and their advantages and disadvantages are highlighted.

It is shown that it is important to create cost-efficient and smart demulsifiers of stable oil emulsions including their ecological friendly characteristics. Therefore, the future perspective research areas include the development of sustainable and alternative demulsification methods which are in demands today. In addition, the develop- ment of the effective combination of destabilization methods is still relevant today to achieve the synergetic effect in dewatering of highly stable oil emulsions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110643
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Issue numberPart B
Early online date17 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


  • oil emulsion
  • methods of demulsification
  • water-in-oil emulsion
  • dewatering of crude oil emulsion
  • heavy oils


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