A PRAGMATIC APPROACH TO CFD MODELLING OF SEPARATION PROCESSES
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In the separation process of an emulsion, smaller droplets grow in
size due to binary coalescence and simultaneously sediment/cream
due to gravity. Finally, droplets coalesce at a homogeneous interface
due to interfacial coalescence. Even the above simplified description
of separation introduces several requirements for the modelling
of such processes:
• Relative motion between phases of different properties.
• Free settling of droplets, with possibility of stratification owing
to different sedimentation velocities.
• Formation and behavior of a dense packed layer (DPL), ultimately
leading to the release of water.
• Droplet-droplet interactions (e.g. coalescence) within the free
settling zone and DPL.
• Influence and interaction of surfactants on the above phenomena.
This paper presents recent advancement in the development of a
simulation framework for separation processes, aiming to aid the
community increase their knowledge of relevant phenomena (binary
and interfacial coalescence, surfactants, phase inversion etc.)
and to allow for use of this knowledge to improve engineering tools,
in particular CFD simulations of gravity separation. The proposed
framework is based on the Eulerian framework for multiphase flows
with population balance modelling in order to capture the dynamical
evolution of the droplets by coalescence. Separation is enabled
through phase inversion, allowing free water to be formed from the
emulsion. In addition, the current framework allows for the treatment
of surfactants and thus opens for detailed simulations of for
instance batch separation.
Keywords: Pragmatic industrial modelling, Oil & Gas processing,
Oil/water separation, Surfactants and interfaces .

Author Name: 
Kristian Etienne TRÆTLI-EINARSRUD
Balram PANJWANI
Vincent PAUCHARD
Author Company: 
SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, 7465 Trondheim, NORWAY
Industries: 
Products: 
Conference Location: 
Trondheim, NORWAY
Conference Proceeding PDF: 
Conference Date: 
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Conference Name: 
International Conference on CFD in Oil & Gas, Metallurgical and Process Industries