In the most basic sense, a sand separator is anything designed to separate sand or other solid particulate matter from water. They do not separate all of the solids from the liquid but are an essential initial part of the process of getting a lot of solid particles out of the liquid.
This approach is used in waste management and in micro irrigation systems as well as within the oil and gas industry. In the oil and gas industry it is more commonly known as a separator, and is a core component of extracting oil from earth and sand.
The separator is a pressure vessel specifically designed for separating well fluids into oil, gas, and water. It features a number of chambers connected by pipes and pressure vessel connections and relief valves. Separators are usually on a platform near the wellhead, tank battery or manifold to separate the fluids collected from production wells.
How Separators Work in the Oil and Gas Industry
For extracting oil, a sand separator may be a two-phase or three-phase separator. A two-phase separator strictly separates sand from the extracted crude oil. A three-phase separator is needed when a gas needs to be separated as well. Centrifugal force combined with gravity is the primary means used to separate solids from oil and gas.
For example, when placing a mixture of oil and sand in a centrifuge and then spinning it, the sand sinks to the bottom where it can be separated and removed, leaving the oil on top. If extracting gas, the gas tends to rise to the top without you having to take any action. Once you have separated these substances, usually a filtering system filters out the remaining fine particles and contaminants.
Looking for a Pressure Vessel Connector Manufacturer?
Forged Components Inc. (FCI) manufactures pressure vessel connections and forged valve components for separators commonly used in the oil & gas and petrochemical industries. FCI specializes in forging pressure vessel connections, valve bodies and adapters from a wide range of material grades that it carries in its vast raw material inventory. They can deliver such components in a very timely manner for different industry applications. For more information, please give us a call (281) 441-4088 or contact us online to speak to one of our sales staff.