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Research Papers: Multiphase Flows

Performance of a Novel Rotating Gas-Liquid Separator

[+] Author and Article Information
G. P. Willems, B. P. M. van Esch, H. P. van Kemenade, J. J. H. Brouwers

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands

J. P. Kroes1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlandsj.p.kroes@tue.nl

M. Golombok

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Shell Exploration and Production, Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fluids Eng 132(3), 031301 (Mar 17, 2010) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001008 History: Received May 26, 2009; Revised January 05, 2010; Published March 17, 2010; Online March 17, 2010

A novel gas separation process makes use of a rotating phase separator to separate micron-sized droplets from a gas stream. Based on an industrial scale design, a water/air separator is constructed and tested. The first experiment concerns the drainage of large fractions of separated liquid. During operation, drainage is observed via windows and a descriptive model is formulated. Because of the major influence on overall separation efficiency, liquid drainage is a key issue in the separator design. The second experiment comprises a droplet collection efficiency measurement using micron-sized droplets dispersed within the airstream. The separation efficiency of fine droplet removal is measured. This is an important factor in reducing capital costs.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 4

Definitions within a volume segment

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Figure 5

Schematic of the test rig

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Figure 6

Close-up of the Eindhoven laboratory unit

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Figure 7

Connections of the RPS unit

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Figure 8

A typical high speed exposure taken through the window of the stationary volute (880 frames/s, Δt≈1 ms). On the right a schematic isometric view of the film is shown, with the film height (H−b) and width (R−rb) indicated. The bottom of the volute is present at the bottom edge of the exposure (see Fig. 2).

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Figure 9

Measured and predicted tangential liquid film velocities at the outer wall (r=R) as a function of total liquid mass flow rate, halfway the film (at 180 deg from the outlet), for shaft speeds 800 rpm and 1200 rpm. Predictions are based on measured feed velocities of vθf=6.6 m/s at 800 rpm and vθf=9.1 m/s at 1200 rpm, and a friction factor f=0.05.

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Figure 10

Droplet distributions at Ω=0 rpm. Volume fractions Δfi are normalized as follows: For each interval i with droplet sizes ranging from dpi1 to dpi2, the PDF is expressed as Δfi/(ln dpi2−ln dpi1) with dp expressed in microns. The airflow is measured in grams per second (g/s).

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Figure 11

Measured separation efficiency due to the rotating element, using the situation with a stationary element (Ω=0 rpm) as a reference

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Figure 12

Impaction at the channel entrance

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Figure 13

Example of the analysis of a separation efficiency curve (600 rpm, airflow 120 g/s). Separation efficiency (diamonds) is indicated on the left axis, and normalized volume concentrations (squares and circles) are shown on the right axis. Volume concentrations cΔfi are normalized in the same way as the volume fractions in Fig. 1; see caption.

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Figure 1

Schematic of the RPS rotating element and droplet separation in a channel

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Figure 2

Schematic of a rotating phase separator

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Figure 3

Coordinate definition, cross section through liquid film. Coordinate θ is perpendicular to the plane of drawing.

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Figure 14

Measured and predicted separation efficiency curves at low rotational speeds. Table 2 shows values of dp50%. All ten curves measured at speeds 200 rpm and 400 rpm are plotted. The prediction is for a rotating element with triangular channels, laminar channel flow, and a uniform flow distribution over the element.

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Figure 15

Measured and predicted separation efficiency curves at high rotational speeds. Table 2 shows values of dp50%. All 15 curves measured at speeds 600 rpm, 800 rpm, and 1000 rpm are plotted. The prediction is for a rotating element with triangular channels, laminar channel flow, and a uniform flow distribution over the element.

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