The history of LabPetro begins in the 1990s, with the commencement of studies and experiments in the production, flow, and transportation of oil. These studies were developed by the Multiphase Flow Laboratory (MULTILAB) located at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FEM). MULTILAB’s team at that time consisted of Professors Fernando de Almeida França (who died in 2014), Antonio Carlos Bannwart, Eugênio Spanó Rosa and Luiz Felipe Mendes de Moura. The structure erected at FEM had limited capacity, however, and thus encountered difficulties in handling the oil. It was necessary to create a specific laboratory for this activity and thus LabPetro came into existence.
The design of the Laboratory was the result of the efforts of Professors Fernando de Almeida França, Antonio Carlos Bannwart, and Saul Barisnik Suslick (who died in 2009). After great effort, the project became a reality thanks to the great collaboration between professionals from UNICAMP and PETROBRAS’s Center for Research and Development (CENPES).
LabPetro became a reality in 2005 and had the capacity to permit the performance of large-scale experiments. These included such projects as electrical submersible pump (ESP) operating with crude and heavy oil in single-phase and multiphase flows of oil, water, and air; studies of three-phase flow of heavy oils assisted by water; reduction of friction in flows of ultra-viscous oils, and others.
Kelsen Valente Serra was a Petrobras researcher who worked for many years at CEPETRO and at the graduate school in Petroleum Sciences and Engineering at Unicamp. He died in November of 2002. The laboratory paid tribute to him by renaming itself the Kelsen Valente Serra Experimental Laboratory of Petroleum – LabPetro.
The mission of the laboratory is to meet the demands of research and services in the area of lift and flow assurance while maintaining operational safety and minimizing environmental risks. The lab is used intensively in the development of new integrated technologies to enable the use of the national reserves of hydrocarbons.