Technology > Commercialized equipments

Special Equipments

Prototypes and study techniques specially developed by Lab FIRP at the request of partners, for research and development.

Interfacial rheometer with oscillating rotating drop (Model CITEC RI-1000)

The oscillating rotating drop interfacial rheology method, which is recently available in our Laboratory, allows measurements of dilatational interfacial rheology of bubbles and drops, for surfactant / oil / water systems with low and ultra-low tensions up to 10-3 to 10 -4 mN / m.

Such technological development was carried out during six years of close collaboration between the FIRP Lab and the Center for Technological Innovation of the University of Los Andes (CITEC-ULA), a dependency of the Technological Park of the University of Los Andes.

Field and Discipline

Optimum formulation of surfactant / oil / water systems, oil dehydration, emulsion breaking, Enhanced EOR Oil Recovery.

Competitive advantages of this technology

Its importance is that the current method used for dilatational rheology, hanging drop, can only be used up to interfacial tensions of a few mN / m, at lower values ​​the drop detaches from the syringe, and measurements with low or ultra-low tensions do not can be done. While the rotating drop method can be used for ultra-low interfacial tensions up to 10-3 to 10-4 mN / m. The oscillating rotating drop method also uses a simpler mathematical treatment of the results than the oscillating hanging drop method, because for the latter a treatment of the drop geometry with Laplace equations must be performed to obtain the interfacial area, while the rotating drop equipment has a simpler geometry.

Measuring principle

The RI-1000 rotating drop interfacial rheometer (CITEC-ULA FIRP, Venezuela) allows the interfacial tension and interfacial area to be determined by placing a drop of oil phase (or bubble) in a capillary with the aqueous phase.


The rotation speed and the area of ​​the droplet are periodically varied with a sinusoidal behavior with an amplitude between two rotation speeds. Frequency sweeps can be made from 0.05 to 0.25 rad / s (Zamora et al., 2018). The instrument automatically takes photos at a variable interval, up to a speed of one photo every 0.05 sec. The equipment allows to record the rotation speed and drop diameter of each photograph.

Zamora, J. M., Márquez, R., Forgiarini, A. M., Langevin, D., & Salager, J. L. (2018). Interfacial rheology of low interfacial tension systems using a new oscillating spinning drop method. Journal of colloid and interface science, 519, 27-37.

Spinning drop tensiometer (5), CITEC model TTG-110 M4

The rotating drop technique has several advantages over the other methods capable of measuring low voltages such as those of the hanging drop or the placed drop:

First, it is the only method in which there is no interface contact with a solid, and therefore there is no need to evaluate a contact angle at the three-phase boundary.

Second, it is relatively easy to use in the Vonegut approach conditions in which the droplet is elongated; it is enough to measure its diameter to estimate the stress, instead of having to evaluate the variation of curvature between points of the interface.

This rotating drop blood pressure monitor is the result of the collaboration between Lab FIRP and the Center for Technological Innovation (CITEC).

CITEC is currently manufacturing in small series the new model TGG110-M4 with ultra-bright LED lighting, CCD camera and temperature control (launched mid-November 2011).

The FIRP Laboratory is in charge of training the users of the device and advising them on the scientific aspects.

Laboratory Electrostatic Dehydrator DE-110-M3

The FIRP Lab has been conducting research for more than 10 years on the physicochemical aspects of dehydration, particularly the formulation of demulsifiers. These studies have shown that the tests must be numerous due to the great variety of parameters (in particular the type of demulsifier, its HLB, its concentration, salinity, temperature, etc.) and that, on the other hand, the experiments take time, in particularly with viscous crude oils.

In order to improve the experimental method for evaluating demulsifiers, it was decided to develop a dehydration apparatus to test formulations in a short time (on the order of 1 hour, instead of the typical 24 hours of the classic bottle method).

Such technological development was the fruit of two years of close collaboration between the FIRP Lab and the Center for Technological Innovation of the University of Los Andes (CITEC-ULA), a dependency of the Technological Park of the University of Los Andes, with the support of the Program Oil Agenda of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Field and discipline

Oil production, refinery emulsion breaking and waste treatment in pits.


Testing and quality control of the dehydrating formulation at the level of each oil well, or stream contaminated with water.


Those who deal with the treatment of water / oil emulsions, from formulation to field and refinery application.

Competitive advantages of this technology

Compared to those on the market, this device does not produce sparks, does not “toast”, or overheat the crude sample, it is less dangerous (only 1000 volts) and it is more economical.

CITEC currently has the DE-110-M3 model, a simplified and portable version (weight 5 Kg) of the 3rd generation device, which includes a Plexiglas safety device. The DE-110-M3 is available to Lab FIRP industrial partners as a technological “add-on” to dehydration trainings.