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Multiphase Flows

Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Benjamin and Taylor Bubbles in Two-Phase Flow in Pipes

[+] Author and Article Information
M. Ramdin

 Process and Energy Department, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Leeghwaterstraat 44, 2628 CA Delft, The Netherlandsm.ramdin@tudelft.nl

Ruud Henkes1

 Multi-Scale Physics Department,Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Leeghwaterstraat 39, 2628 CB Delft, The NetherlandsR.A.W.M.Henkes@tudelft.nl

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fluids Eng 134(4), 041303 (Apr 20, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006405 History: Received June 27, 2011; Revised March 11, 2012; Published April 20, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

There is an increasing interest in applying three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for multiphase flow transport in pipelines, e.g., in the oil and gas industry. In this study, the volume of fluid (VOF) multiphase model in a commercial CFD code was used to benchmark the capabilities. Two basic flow structures, namely, the Benjamin bubble and the Taylor bubble, are considered. These two structures are closely related to the slug flow regime, which is a common flow pattern encountered in multiphase transport pipelines. After nondimensionalization, the scaled bubble velocity (Froude number) is only dependent on the Reynolds number and on the Eötvös number, which represent the effect of viscosity and surface tension, respectively. Simulations were made for a range of Reynolds numbers and Eötvös numbers (including the limits of vanishing viscosity and surface tension), and the results were compared with the existing experiments and analytical expressions. Overall, there is very good agreement. An exception is the simulation for the 2D Benjamin bubble at a low Eötvös number (i.e., large surface tension effect) which deviates from the experiments, even at a refined numerical grid.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 11

Effect of the surface tension on the velocity of the Taylor bubble

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Figure 12

Comparison of the axial velocity along the pipe axis above the Taylor bubble (z is the axial pipe coordinate)

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Figure 14

The axial and radial velocity of components at z/D = −0.504: (

) Experimental radial velocity, () experimental axial velocity, () radial velocity of Lu and Prosperetti [27], () axial velocity of Lu and Prosperetti [27], () radial velocity CFD, and () axial velocity CFD

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Figure 13

The axial and radial velocity of components at z/D = 0.111: (

) Experimental radial velocity, () experimental axial velocity, () radial velocity of Lu and Prosperetti [27], () axial velocity of Lu and Prosperetti [27], () radial velocity CFD, and () axial velocity CFD

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Figure 1

(a) Benjamin bubble, taken from Ref. [4], and (b) Taylor bubble, taken from Ref. [7]

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Figure 2

Boundary and initial conditions for the Benjamin bubble (black is liquid and gray is gas)

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Figure 3

(a) Grid for 3D simulations, and (b) boundary and initial conditions for the Taylor bubble (black is liquid and gray is gas)

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Figure 4

Effect of the viscosity on the velocity of the 2D Benjamin bubble

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Figure 5

Effect of the viscosity on the velocity of the 3D Benjamin bubble

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Figure 6

Power-law for the slowdown of the viscous 2D Benjamin bubble

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Figure 7

The constant C as a function of the Reynolds number for the Benjamin bubble

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Figure 8

Effect of the surface tension on the velocity of the 2D Benjamin bubble

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Figure 9

Effect of the surface tension on the velocity of the 3D Benjamin bubble

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Figure 10

Effect of the viscosity on the velocity of the Taylor bubble

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