The Tracker is a piece of laboratory equipment used for the determination of the interfacial tension of an oilfield sample. The Tracker is able to measure:
The Tracker drop shape tensiometer can be used to evaluate chemical demulsifiers by measuring interfacial tension and interfacial elasticity. The process of chemical demulsification involves the acceleration of flocculation, and oil film rupture processes. The hydrodynamic interactions between droplets in crude oil emulsions depend on interfacial tension and interfacial elasticity. Interfacial tension is the surface free energy of a liquid indicating the strength of the interactions acting on the interface. Interfacial tension acts upon the liquid to reduce the overall surface area, and in a stable crude oil emulsion allows the individual droplets to remain dispersed. For the destabilisation of a crude oil emulsion, the interfacial tension must be lowered to a value which allows the droplets to coalesce. In addition to reducing the interfacial tension, the elasticity of the interface must also be reduced as this measures the resistance of the film to deformation or coalescence.
As well as interfacial elasticity, the individual elastic and viscous components can also be studied using the Tracker drop shape tensiometer.
The Tracker is an automated drop tensiometer which can measure variations in surface tension or interfacial tension over time. The instrument can oscillate the drop or bubble being observed to determine complex elastic modulus, including the elastic and viscous components.
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