Heavy Oil and Water: the Advantages of Water-Oil Emulsions

Water-fuel emulsions are a large number of small water droplets distributed in the oil. Media where heavy oil is dispersed is very rarely used.

In recent years, it has been suggested to use these emulsions as fuel. Such suggestions emerge due to the cost of oil-based fuels. Let us analyse the situation in the industry of making this type of fuel.

The main idea of burning water-fuel emulsions is the inability of modern nozzles to disperse fuel to size less than 100 micron. At the same time, one such droplet may contain many more micro-droplets. Entering the combustion chamber, the droplet of the emulsion explodes. This is practically secondary dispersion. Efficiency of this phenomena increases with the number of droplets of the same size in the emulsion.

That is why combustion can be intensified by homogenization of water-fuel blend. The smaller the size of water droplets in the emulsion, the lower the tendency to separate. To achieve uniform composition and the smallest possible size of water droplets, various types of equipment can be used, but most of them cannot ensure stable emulsion and the required droplet size.

In this respect, GlobeCore’s USB blending units demonstrate significant advantages. They produce highly stable finely dispersed emulsions with oil products (heavy oil, diesel fuel, heating oil etc) and water (clean water, steam, wastewater contaminated with oil etc).

Emulsification of heavy oil in the USB units allows to improve combustion and boiler efficiency due to:

  • uniform distribution of finely dispersed water throughout the volume;
  • pulverization in the combustion chamber and complete combustion with lower air intake;
  • efficient pulverization of emulsion droplets in the combustion chamber;
  • recuperation of the heat from the exhaust gases;
  • capability of using flammable waste, which cost less than fuel oil;
  • possible reuse of wastewater and waste oil.
  • Using water-fuel emulsions can half the exhaust and reduce soot by 3 to 4 times.



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