Document Type : Research Paper


Electromechanical Engineering Dept., University of Technology-Iraq, Alsina’a street, 10066 Baghdad, Iraq.


One of the great challenges in pipeline transportation of heavy crude oil is the effect of viscosity on flow rate. By using viscosity reduction techniques, crude oil flow ability can be enhanced. However, the dual effect of dilution and electric fields on crude oil flow ability is still not well addressed. The main goal of this study is to reduce viscosity and improve the flow rate of heavy crude oil through pipelines using dual techniques of electrical field and dilution. The optimization technique was used to investigate the interaction effects of experimental variables on the objective function. As compared to crude oil treated solely by dilution or electrical field, the dual treatment could result in more substantial reductions in viscosity. In this experiment, at first, the dilution's impact is studied. Acetone was used as a diluent in different concentrations. The great viscosity reduction is about 21.98% when adding 20 wt. % of acetone. Secondly, when the effect of the electric field has been studied, a reduction in viscosity of about 35.6% was observed when 36.67(v/cm) is applied. Lastly, the effect of combined treatment (dilution and electric field) has been investigated according to factorial design. The optimum viscosity reduction is about 61.856% at 11 wt. % acetone and 36.67 (v/cm) of the electric field.


  • Combination of electric field and Dilution can improve the flow of heavy crude oil.
  • Invented capacitor has been put inside the oil pipe to apply electric field.
  • Optimize the conditions of applying the electric field and acetone addition.
  • Significant improvement in pumping power has been revealed at optimum conditions.


Main Subjects

[1] A. A. Alwasiti, and R. I. Ibrahim, Improving the flow ability of heavy crude oil in pipelines using prepared nanosilica: experimental investigation and cfd simulation, Petroleum & Coal, 61 (2019) 1455-1467.
[2] M. H. Hassanean, M.E. Awad, H. Marwan, A.A. Bhran, and M. Kaoud, Studying the rheological properties and the influence of drag reduction on a waxy crude oil in pipeline flow, Egyptian Journal of Petroleum, 25 (2016).
[3] L. Costalonga, Michell, B. V. Loureiro, and E. J. Soares, “Drag reducing flows by polymer solutions in annular spaces,” Journal of Fluids Engineering, 140 (2018).
[4] A. A. Alwasiti, Z. Y.S hneen, R. I. Ibrahim, and  A.K. Al Shalal , Energy Analysis and Phase Inversion Modeling of Two-Phase Flow with Different Additives, Ain Shams Engineering Journal, 12 (2021) 799-805.
[5] R. I. Ibrahim, M. K. Oudah, and A.M. Al-Mufti, An Overview on the Recent Techniques for Improving the Flow ability of Crude Oil in Pipelines, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 579 (2019) IOP Publishing.
[6] A. D. Kulkarni, and K. S. Wani, reducing crude oil viscosity using diluents, Int. Con. on Glo. Tren. In Eng., Technol. and Manag,(2016).4-6.
[7] R. Martínez-Palou, Lourdes Mosqueira, B. Zapata-Rendón ,E. Mar-Juárez, C.BernalHuicochea, la Cruz Clavel-López, and J. Aburto Transportation of heavy and extra heavy crude oil by pipeline: A review, Journal of petroleum science and engineering, 75(2011) 274-282.
[8] P. Gateau, I. Hénaut, L. Barré, and J.F. Argillier, Heavy oil dilution, Oil Gas Sci. Technol., 59 (2004) 503 509.
[9] M. Mortazavi, Sepideh, and M. John, Effect of diluents on the rheological properties of Maya crude oil, Energy & Fuels, 30 (2016) 766-772.
[10] R.A. Azeez, F. K. Al-Zuhairia, and A. Al-Adilia, A Comparative investigation on Viscosity Reduction of Heavy Crude Oil Using Organic Solvents, International Journal advanced science engineering information technology. 10 (2020) 1675-1681.
[11] E. M.majeed,M. Eynas, and M. Tariq, Viscosity reduction of Iraqi crude oil by different additives, AIP Conference Proceedings. 2213 (2020) 020142.
[12] ] G. Martínez,C . Pozos,A. Núñez,D. Morán, and V. Lara, Heavy crude oil viscosity reduction by dilution with hydrocarbons obtained via pyrolysis of polypropylene and polystyrene, Petroleum Science and Technology, 38 (2008) 1-8.
[13] R. Tao, K. Huang, H. Tang, and B. Bell, Electro rheology leads to efficient combustion, Energy & fuels. 22 (2008) -3788.
[14] R. Tao, E. Du, H. Tang, and X. Xu, Neutron scattering studies of crude oil viscosity reduction with electric field, Fuel. 134 (2014) 493-498.
[15] R. I. Ibrahim, M. K. Oudah, A. F. Hassan, Viscosity reduction for flow ability enhancement in Iraqi crude oil pipelines using novel capacitor and locally prepared Nano silica, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 156 (2017) 356-365.
[16] Y. Xie, J. Zhang, C. Ma, C. Chen, Q. Huang, Z. Li, Y. Ding, H. Li, S. Han, Combined treatment of electrical    and ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) to improve the cold flow ability of waxy crude oils, Fuel, 267 (2020) 117-161.
[17] F. A. Holland, Fluid Flow for Chemical Engineers, First Published by Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd, (1973).
[18] F. M. White, Fluid Mechanics, McGraw-Hill, 7th Published a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., (2009).
[19] L. VICTOR, E. Streeter, and W. Benjamin, Fluid Mechanics, McGraw-Hill, 6th Published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. Engineering text, (1983).
[20] N. j. Saleh, R. I. Ibrahim and A. D. Salman, Characterization of Nano-silica Prepared from Local Silica Sand and its Application in Cement Mortar using Optimization Technique, Advanced Powder Technology, 26 (2015) 1123–1133.
[21] A. M. Mustafa, Design and Implementation of an Electromechanical System for the Treatment of Crude Oil Viscosity at Low Temperatures, M.Sc. Thesis, electromechanical Engineering Department, University of Technology, Iraq, (2019).