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Liquid Desander – Mechanical Requirements (B-FSM072)

Produced water desander, deoiler, and solids disposal system onshore NW Australia

Following on with operating boundaries for the liquid (produced water) desander in the previous article we will now cover the mechanical design and installation requirements. These are general guidelines small diameter, multi-liner desanders used in liquid-only (not multiphase) flow.


  • Bare vessel requires ~1.0 m² while full skid may require 1.5-2.0 m², which includes valves/piping/instruments


  • ~2 meters for desander vessel only, and ~4 meters for full-skid with secondary accumulator


  • Standard orientation of the desander is vertical, with secondary accumulator directly below.
  • The desander can be operated horizontal, but secondary accumulator needs to be located below desander.


  • 1,000-3,000 kg for bare equipment (pending vessel diameter and pressure rating) to 5,000-10,000 kg for full skid (incl. piping, valves, instruments, and frame)

Pressure Rating

  • ASME Sec VIII Div. 1: 150#, 300#, 600# and 900#

Materials of Construction

  • Vessel: Carbon steel standard but stainless (316L), duplex (UNS31803) and super duplex (UNS32760) available
  • Liner: Stellite® or alumina ceramic


  • Instrumentation: differential pressure from Inlet-Overflow
  • Valves: Accumulator isolation, discharge, and fill (see post B-FSM-64 of 04-Dec-18)
  • Normal operation is manual
  • Automated operation easy to install by actuators on valves

The next article will briefly discuss the effects of chemicals on operability of liquid-based desanders.


  1. Rawlins, C.H., and Wang, I. I., “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, 2001, pp. 134-140. 

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