The quantification and characterization of suspended solids (emulsions) in a variety of oil field related fluids has long been a challenge to the industry. Drilling mud, produced water and hydraulic fluids have specific quality specifications regarding the presence or absence of particles. Particulate matter in the sub-visible and sub-micron range often serve as reliable predictors of overall particle concentrations and therefore present the opportunity to predict or prevent problems within the process.
In this study, Her et al. assess the ability of the FlowCam Nano, a nano-flow imaging instrument by Fluid Imaging Technologies, Inc. to enumerate and characterize nano- and microparticles in a liquid sample. The nano-flow imaging instrument simultaneously imaged, counted, and characterized the nano- and microparticles present in the liquid.
This study showed how the nano-flow imaging instrument can generate highly resolved images of nano- and microparticulates ranging in size from 300 nm to 30 ┬Ám. The ability to enumerate nano- and microparticulates while simultaneously characterizing morphology enables improved identification of the particulates in the liquid and their origin.
The oil-immersion, nano-flow imaging instrument equipped with a 40x objective has shown capabilities in assessing particulates in many fluids. This technology could improve the detection and identification of nano- and microparticulate in source water and assess the efficacy of nano- and microparticulate removal in water treatment processes.

Primary Author:
Cheng Her
University of Colorado Denver
Denver, Colorado, USA

Conference Presenter:
Kent Peterson
Fluid Imaging Technologies, Scarborough, ME

Co-Authors:
Sieracki, Chris – Fluid Imaging Technologies, Scarborough, ME
Peterson, Kent – Fluid Imaging Technologies, Scarborough, ME
Mills, Chris – Fluid Imaging Technologies, Scarborough, ME
Carpenter, John – University of Colorado, Denver, Denver, CO