Numerical Investigation of Flow Patterns and Surface Wetting in Oil-Water Flow

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    August 19, 2020
  • Duration:
    15 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.30

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Multiphase flows are common in the oil and gas industry at production and transportation of the hydrocarbon products through pipelines. Most oil production fluids contain water and gases, which flow concurrently in the fluid leading to complex flow patterns. The presence of ‘free’ water in the production fluid mixture poses the risk of water touching (or wetting) the mild steel pipe surface, which increases the corrosion potential in the pipeline. Thus, it is important to predict the flow pattern in flow pipelines and the chance of water wetting phenomenon.

In this work, numerical experiments are carried out to investigate flow pattern and surface wetting behavior of oil-water flow in a straight pipe. Numerical flow patterns are compared to the experimental work done by Kee, K.E. (2014). Effect of mixture velocity, droplet diameter, and water cut on the flow pattern and wetting are investigated. Moreover, population balance model (PBM) is implemented to capture water droplet distribution and how it is affected by other parameters. Tuning of the PBM is also performed to capture the right flow pattern.

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