Demulsifiers, or emulsion breakers, are a class of specialty chemicals used to separate emulsions (e.g. water in oil). They are commonly used in the processing of crude oil, which is typically produced along with significant quantities of saline water. This water (and salt) must be removed from the crude oil prior to refining. If the majority of the water and salt are not removed, significant corrosion problems can occur in the refining process.
Demulsifiers are typically based on the following chemistry:
- Acid catalysed phenol-formaldehyde resins
- Base catalysed phenol-formaldehyde resins
- Epoxy resins
Commercially available demulsifier formulations are typically a mixture of two to four different chemistries, in carrier solvent(s) such as xylene, Heavy Aromatic Naptha (HAN), Isopropanol, methanol, 2-ethylhexanol or Diesel.
Suppliers of demulsifiers
- Akzo Nobel
- Baker Hughes
- BASF 
- Cochran Chemical Company
- Dorf Ketal
- Dow Oil and Gas
- Eonchemicals Putra
- Hydrite Chemical Co.
- Instral BV
- Multi-Chem, a Halliburton Service
- M-I SWACO (Production Technologies) - part of Schlumberger
- Nalco Champion
- National Chemical Petroleum Industries NCPI
- REDA Oilfield
- Schärer & Schläpfer AG
- PCC EXOL
- KAPL Krishna Antioxidants Pvt Ltd "CRISTOL"Brand
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- "TRETOLITE Fluids Separation Technologies". BakerHughes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- "Oilfield Production Chemicals – BASF – The Chemical Company – Corporate Website". BASF. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2013-04-15.
- "Buckman". Buckman. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- "CECA Oilfield Chemicals: paraffin control, innovative products & services for oil industry". Cecachemicals.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- "Clariant Services & Products – Exactly Your Chemistry – Emulsion control". Oil.clariant.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- "Croda Oilfield :: Products & Applications – Demulsifier actives for oilfield production". Croda.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- "Phase Separation | Dow Oil & Gas". Oilandgas.dow.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- http://www.multichem.com/production-products/emulsion-breakers/. Missing or empty
- "Emulsion Breakers – Nalco Company". Nalco.com. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- http://www.pcc-exol.eu/. Missing or empty
- emulsion-breakers.htm "CRISTOL Emulsion Breakers; KAPL Oil&Gas". cristol.co.in. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
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