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Iran's RIPI Developing Oil Desalination Unit

The Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) is taking steps to develop an advanced desalter, an important piece of equipment used in refineries to remove salt from crude.

Iran's RIPI Developing Oil Desalination Unit
(Thursday, May 11, 2017) 21:32
Desalting is usually the first step in processing crude oil in all petroleum refineries. Unprocessed crude contains undesirable impurities, such as sand, inorganic salts and drilling mud. The purpose of desalting is to remove these impurities, especially salts and water, prior to refining.
The treatment process is particularly important because the sand and salt can cause significant damage and corrosion to refining equipment, such as valves, pumps and pipelines.
According to Mehdi Mohammadi, director of the oil desalination initiative at the RIPI, the institute is working on a pilot scheme to develop its desalter, NIOC's official portal reported Wednesday.
"We look forward to developing and optimizing a desalter that would be able to treat all grades of crude oil," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
The salt is dissolved in the water that is mixed with crude oil, not in the oil itself, Mohammadi explained, adding that RIPI's desalination is based electrostatic method in which high-voltage electricity is used to desalinate crude.
The official also said that RIPI has developed a computer program for simulating the crude oil desalting process. "The software is unmatched in Iran's software industry as there is no other program to simulate the oil desalination."
RIPI is the research and development arm of the Oil Ministry. According to reports, Iran started trial oil desalting in 2015 with limited output capacity of 20 barrels per day.
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