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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2009, Article ID 747592, 8 pages
Research Article

High Pressure Falling Sinker Liquid Viscosity Determination without Supplementary Density Data: A New Approach

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK

Received 17 June 2009; Accepted 26 October 2009

Academic Editor: Mostafa Barigou

Copyright © 2009 Minyu Zeng and Carl Schaschke. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Accurate measurement and determination of liquid viscosity data under high pressure conditions requires knowledge of liquid density data. In this study, a high pressure falling sinker-type viscometer was used to determine the viscosity of n-dodecane at elevated pressures up to 132 MPa without supplementary knowledge of liquid density. The viscometer, which involves the downward movement of a cylindrical sinker under the influence of gravity through the liquid contained within a closed tube, avoided the need for density data by repeating the sinker-timing experiments with two geometrically similar but different-sized sinkers thereby allowing the liquid density in the associated formulae to be eliminated. Furthermore, it was possible to subsequently derive liquid density. Both viscosity and density data were compared to published data for which good correlation was found for viscosity. To minimize errors, it is suggested that the two sinkers for such an approach should be of sufficiently differing densities.