Separation Retention Time

An amount of time is needed to assure that the liquid and gas reach equilibrium at separator. The time is defined as “retention time” or the average time a molecule of liquid is retained in the vessel assuming plug flow. The retention time is the volume of the liquid storage in the vessel divided by the liquid flow rate.

The typical application of production separation use retention times of between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. The retention time may have to be increased up to four times if the crude is foaming.

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