CFD Modelling of Gas-Liquid Cylindrical Cyclones (GLCC), Geometrical Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Juan Berrio

Chemical engineering department, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

Nicolas Ratkovich

Chemical engineering department, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

Eduardo Pereyra

McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, United States

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039609 History: Received August 07, 2017; Revised March 10, 2018


The GLCC is a widely used alternative for gas-liquid conventional separation. Beside its maturity, the effect of some geometrical parameters over its performance are not fully understood. The main objective of this study is to use CFD modelling in order to evaluate the effect of geometrical modifications in the reduction of LCO and GCU. Simulations for two-phase flow were carried out under zero net liquid flow and the average liquid holdup was compared with Kanshio (2015) obtaining RMS errors around 13% between CFD and experimental data. An experimental setup, in which LCO data was acquired, was built in order to validate a CFD model that includes both phases entering to the GLCC. An average discrepancy below 6% was obtained by comparing simulations with experimental data. Once the model was validated, five geometrical variables were tested with CFD. The considered variables correspond to the inlet configuration (location and inclination angle), the effect of dual inlet and nozzle geometry (diameter and area reduction). Based on the results, the best configuration correspond to an angle of 27°, inlet location 10cm above the center, a dual inlet with 20cm of spacing between both legs, a nozzle of 3.5cm of diameter and a volute inlet of 15% of pipe area. The combination of these options in the same geometry reduced LCO in 98% with respect to the original case of the experimental setup. Finally, the swirling decaying was studied with CFD showing that liquid has a greater impact than the gas flowrate.

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