Hendrix R. Bull - Escondido CA
A treater for electrostatically and/or mechanically separating emulsified brine from oil during longitudinal flow through a horizontally elongate metal tank, wherein coalescer elements are provided for enhancement of the de-emulsification process. Following the diffusion and distribution of the flowing emulsion across the transverse area of the treater, the emulsion is directed through electrical fields where the brine droplets take on an electrical charge, then moved through an electrically-grounded coalescing element comprising a multiplicity of longitudinally-extending downwardly-inclined open-ended tubes arranged in bundle-fashion. Individual tubes present opposition to the flow of emulsion for contact between brine droplets of the emulsion and the interior surfaces of the tubes, the brine droplets adhering to the tube surfaces where they lose their charge and accumulate, trickling downwardly by gravity to a brine sump. De-emulsified oil is removed in a stream separate from the brine stream. The treater also operates mechanically, with reduced efficiency, when electricity is unavailable.