Measuring the interfaces of oil / emulsions / water in desalters

Arrangement of Multiphase Level Measurement on an oil separator

To make sure that the retracted brine is free of oil and to ensure that the water doesn’t impact the electrostatic grid or even enter the oil outlet, the different levels have to be controled carefully. The Berthold Multiphase Level Measurement system - EmulsionSENS is used to reliably monitor the separation process online. Due to two different arrangements either the product density at specific heights (aligned arrangement) is provided or the level of different layers can be measured continuously (staggered arrangement). Suited for all API oil grades – even for heavy and extra heavy crudes – the measurement is very repeatable and stable over time and above all, maintenance-free.

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Customer Benefit

  • Maximum throughput and availability
  • Ideal control of drained water quality
  • Ideal control of oil outlet flow
  • Reduced operational costs of the desalter
  • Effective addition of emulsion breaking chemicals
  • Increased safety for subsequent distillation processes



  • Number of sources/detectors dependent upon measuring range and arrangement
  • Highly repeatable and very stable measurements
  • Detectors are mounted outside of the vessel for ease of maintenance and ensuring no cooling is required
  • Increased reliability, operates on all API crudes
  • Very precise density at each corresponding height, density accuracy <0.002g/cm3 (aligned arrangement)
  • Or continuous level measurement of the interface layers, level accuracy +/- 25 mm (staggered arrangement)
  • Optional mud level measurement

Optimum control of the desalting process

To ensure optimum control of water / emulsions / oil separation layers in the desalter, more and more operators are turning to radiometry as a highly reliable and accurate measurement solution. By optimizing the process, you minimize the probability of failure, increase efficiency, reduce emulsion breaker chemicals and thus permanently reduce your operating costs. 
Thus, we reduce the probability of upsets for our customers and maximize throughput in the desalter. This process optimization saves money in the long term. According to customers and experts, these are savings of $100,000 to $300,000. We help you to optimize your processes. We offer you tailored measurement solutions that meet the requirements of the refinery with the highest degree of accuracy and stability. 


Whitepaper Multiphase Level Measurement

Berthold has published the whitepaper “Multiphase Level Measurement - Improving level control in desalters to aid in use of opportunity crudes”, wherein the different technologies of level measurement and some of their possible issues are explained. Especially the different nuclear density profile systems are discussed. This paper shows how Berthold with its highly sophisticated radiometric Multiphase Level Measurement system EmulsionSENS helps refiners to optimize the separation process, minimize the probability of failure, increase efficiency, save chemicals and thus permanently reduce your operating costs.

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Detector retrofit program to improve your production

Especially in low radiation conditions, our highly sensitive detectors improve the signal to noise ratio, what is resulting in superior measurement performance compared to competing systems. Source replacement is costly, time consuming, and does not work towards a reduction in overall site source activity.

Berthold's retrofit solution


Interface Measurement in desalters Application flyer

English | PDF | 812.9 KB

Multiphase level and interface measurement Product brochure

English | PDF | 1.2 MB

Multiphase level measurement Whitepaper

English | PDF | 4.2 MB

Berthold's measurement solution


Solution for monitoring of transition phases or height of multiple phases