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Visualization of gas-liquid multiphase pseudo-slug flow using Wire-Mesh Sensor

Kesana, N.R. , Parsi, M. , Vieira, R.E. , Azzopardi, B. , Schleicher, E. , McLaury, B.S. , Shirazi, S.A. , Hampel, U.
Journal of natural gas science and engineering, Vol. 46 (October 2017), 477-490
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Intermittent two-phase flows are commonly encountered in the petroleum industry. Much attention has been focused by several researchers on intermittent flows existing at low superficial gas velocities (<10 m/s). There is limited work performed on intermittent structures persisting at higher superficial gas velocities (pseudo-slug flows). In the present experimental study, a conductivity-based Wire-Mesh Sensor (WMS) was used to visualize and characterize pseudo-slug flow. Experiments were performed in a 76.2 mm horizontal pipe with air and water as the working fluids at atmospheric conditions. The superficial gas and liquid velocities ranged from 9 m/s to 35 m/s and 0.45 m/s to 0.76 m/s, respectively. A 16 × 16 WMS was placed 17 m away from the pipe inlet to measure spatio-temporal void-fraction distribution. The WMS data acquisition frequency was set to 10 kHz. From the void-fraction time series data, the periodic pseudo-slug structures were visualized. The visualization suggested that unlike slug flow where the liquid structures fill the pipe cross-section, the pseudo-slugs were extremely aerated structures (high gas-liquid mixing) formed due to the gas penetration into the liquid slug body. This paper also presents the measurements of important hydrodynamic characteristics such as cross-sectional averaged void-fraction time series and mean void fraction. The effect of liquid viscosity on the visualized structures is also presented.
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