eProcess Technologies

Liquid Desander – Key Items and Technical References (B-FSM077)

Cyclone on a coffee roaster at Whole Foods Market in New Orleans

In this article we finish the discussion of liquid desander. All this information is important for produced water desanding, but the fundamentals are critical for understanding multiphase desanding (next major topic). Liquid desander design and operation is the foundation on which multiphase desander is built.

Key Items

  • All oil & gas wells produce sand. I hope this is self-evident by now. Liquid desanding remove the sand in Node 4 (post B-FSM-006)
  • A liquid desander is unit process device based on cyclonic technology. It has the highest throughput-size ratio of any separating technology (post B-FSM-043).
  • The purpose is to separate and remove solids from liquid/water flow stream. Most commonly it is used in produced water treatment (post B-FSM-051). In PWT the desander removes solids/sand prior to oil-in-water removal (i.e. deoilers, flotation, and filtration).
  • The multi-liner vessel is the most common design, and can use PACS multi-chamber design for high turndown requirement (post B-FSM-075)
  • A secondary accumulator may be designed for operation. Ensure proper design and operation of this separate vessel (post B-FSM-065).
  • High inlet solids concentration requires Apex Flux Balancing to prevent blockage and early damage on the liners (post B-FSM-069).

The next article will start the discussion on Multiphase Desanding. You must read, study, and understand all the information on liquid desanding (posts B-FSM-42 on 29-May-18 to present) first before moving on to multiphase desanding.

The references below are the best to start with.


  1. Ditria, J.C., Hoyack, M.E. 1994. “The Separation of Solids and Liquids with Hydrocyclone-Based Technology for Water Treatment and Crude Processing”, paper 28815, SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 7-10 November.
  2. Hodson, J.E., Childs, G., Palmer, A.J. 1994. “The application of specialist hydrocyclones for separation and clean-up of solids in the oil and gas industry”, paper 7590 presented at the 26th Annual OTC, Houston, TX, 2-5 May.
  3. Lohne, K. 1996. “Separation of Solids from Produced Water Using Hydrocyclone Technology”, Trans IChemE, Vol. 72, Part A, March, pp 169-185.
  4. Plitt, L.R. 1976. “A mathematical model of the hydrocyclone classifier”, CIM Bulletin, December, pp. 115-123.
  5. Rawlins, C.H. 2018. “Particle Transfer Between the Cyclone and Accumulator Sections of a Desander”, SPE Production & Operations, paper SPE-191147-PA.
  6. Rawlins, C.H. 2013. “Sand Management Methodologies for Sustained Facilities Operations,” paper 164645-MS, North Africa Technical Conference & Exhibition, Cairo, Egypt, Apr. 15-17.
  7. Rawlins, C.H., and Wang, I. I. 2001. “Design and Installation of a Sand Separation and Handling System for a Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Facility,” SPE Production and Facilities, paper 72999, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 134-140.
  8. Svarovsky, L., “Hydrocyclones”, Technomics Publishing Co. Inc., Lancaster, PA, 1984.
  9. Vikan, A.M.H. 2009. “A Study of The Effect of Pumps and Desanding Cyclones on Oil Droplets in Produced Water”, Masters Thesis, University of Stavanger, 96 pages.
  10. Witbeck, W.O., Woods, D.R. 1984. “Pressure Drop and Separation Efficiency in a Flooded Hydrocyclone”, The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol. 62., February, pp. 91-98.

Comments are closed.


Copyright © 2024 eProcess Technologies.