Hydrodynamic cavitation and its application in the fuel industry

Usually, by mixing several components, we want to get a product with new properties and quality. In some cases, to solve this problem, a simple mechanical stirrer with an electric drive is enough. But more often you have to deal with components that mix poorly or do not combine well with each other, and a mechanical stirrer does not give the desired result. Therefore, the engineering design department of the GlobeCore company developed a USB-type unit based on hydrodynamic cavitation technology. At the heart of its functioning is the principle of a complex impact on the processed substance with the use of several technical devices and phenomena. Let’s talk about them in detail.

The main physical phenomenon used by USB is cavitation. Cavitation is understood as the appearance of vapor-filled bubbles in the liquid medium, due to rapid changes of pressure. When these bubbles collapse, the energy inside of them is released and it causes the occurrence of shock waves with the formation of free radicals, and also local heating of gas in cavitation cavities.

Cavities

Cavitation appears as a result of an increase in the velocity of the fluid flow, which, in turn, causes local pressure drops. The cavitation enhances a number of related effects:

  • ultrasound;
  • microexplosions;
  • mechanical cuts and impacts (increases their number, when exposed to hundreds of cutting pairs moving at high linear speed)

The combined effect of these factors allows us to divide the processed substance into microparticles.

USB unit design

In the USB unit, a cavitation zone is created by Laval nozzles. The occurrence of cavitation is possible only under the condition of a high velocity of the fluid. Therefore, the pump creates pressure at the inlet to the nozzle. Due to the fact that the nozzle opening has a cross-section much smaller than the cross-section of the main pipeline, the outlet speed increases significantly. The cavitation is also accelerated by a fast expansion of the fluid, its turbulence when the jet exits the nozzle, and by the friction of the fluid on the surface of the nozzle channel.

USB also has a Venturi pipe. Its design (a pipe with a neck connected to the throat of the pipeline) allows to minimize pressure losses and provides an ultra-precise dosage of the starting components, as well as their subsequent finely dispersed dissolution.

Venturi effect

Application of hydrodynamic cavitation technology in the oil industry

The effects described above that occur during USB operation make this equipment quite effective in the oil refining industry. In particular, due to the impact of shock waves, long organic chains of oil are breaking to form new radicals, which allows obtaining completely new compounds and, as a result, increase the yield of light oil products.

Among other possible applications, it is also worth highlighting:

  • oil processing in order to reduce its viscosity to facilitate transportation through pipelines. Paraffin is also destroyed during processing, which reduces the amount of deposits on the pipe walls;
  • production of multicomponent fuels, mixed types of gasoline, biofuels, winter diesel fuel, etc .;
  • obtaining fuel-oil emulsions. Adding water to fuel (fuel oil) up to 20% will reduce the amount of harmful emissions from combustion into the environment and increase the efficiency of the boiler;
  • processing of diesel fuels, which reduces ash content, coking ability, and size of mechanical impurities, density, pour point and filtration coefficient. At the same time, an increase in the cetane number occurs.
cavitation in fuel industry

GlobeCore produces USB-type plants for mixing from two to five source components with a capacity of 18 to 100 cubic meters per hour. For example, the marking USB-20/3 means that the installation can work with two or three components and at the same time ensure process productivity of 20 cubic meters per hour.

Mixtures obtained using USB installations can be stored for 30 to 180 days (depending on the formulation). In the case of mixed gasoline, the shelf life without delamination is 180 or more days.

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