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research-article

Sand Transport in Slightly Upward Inclined Multiphase Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
Ramin Dabirian

Post- Doctoral Research Associate of Petroleum Engineering, The University of Tulsa, 800 South Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104-3189. USA
ramin-dabirian@utulsa.edu

Ram S. Mohan

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tulsa, 800 South Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104-3189. USA
ram-mohan@utulsa.edu

Ovadia Shoham

Professor of Petroleum Engineering, The University of Tulsa, 800 South Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104-3189. USA
ovadia-shoham@utulsa.edu

Gene Kouba

Senior Research Consultant, Chevron (Retired)
genekouba1@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039269 History: Received May 24, 2017; Revised January 09, 2018

Abstract

In order to assess the critical sand deposition condition, a unique 4-in ID test facility was designed and constructed, which enables the pipe to be inclined 1.5° upward. Experiments were conducted with air-water-glass beads at low sand concentrations (< 10,000 ppm), and the air and water flow rates were selected to ensure stratified flow regime along the pipe. At constant superficial liquid velocity the gas velocity was reduced to find the critical sand deposition velocity. Six sand flow regimes are identified, namely, fully dispersed solid flow, dilute solids at the wall, concentrated solids at the wall, moving dunes, stationary dunes and stationary bed. The experimental results reveal that sand flow regimes under air-water stratified flow are strong functions of phase velocities, particle size and particle concentration. Also the results show that air-water flow regime plays an important role in particle transport; slug flow has high capability to transport particles at the pipe bottom, while the stratified flow has high risk of sand deposition. As long as the sand dunes are observed at the pipe bottom, the critical sand deposition velocities slightly increase with concentrations, while for stationary bed, the critical velocity increases exponentially with concentration.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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