# Browsing by Subject "Multiphase flow"

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Item Behavior of two-dimensional fluidized beds with nonuniform superficial gas velocity(Texas Tech University, 1988-08) Kim, Seong SooShow more The objective of this project was to investigate how the behavior of fluidized beds was affected by internal gas generation within the bed. Experimental work was done in two-dimensional bed (30 cm wide, 168 cm high, and 2.54 cm thick), where the generated gas was simulated by injecting a secondary air stream through a porous back wall. Arrangements were made to ensure that the injection of the secondary air stream is almost uniform through the bed. The experiments were conducted with 300 Âµm polystylene spheres having a sphericity of 1.0 and a density of 1.07 g/cm3. The minimum fluidizing gas velocity, Umf, was 7.0 cm/s. The fluidizing gas velocity was changed from Umf to 2.3 Umf. The secondary air flow rate was changed from 0 cm3/s to 3377 cm3/s. In each operating condition, the following variables were measured: bed height, pressure gradient in the bed, bubble size and size distribution, bubble frequency, and bubble velocity. Based on the experimental results, the effect of internal gas generation on the behavior of fluidized beds can be summarized as follows: (1) Bed height increased by 8 to 10 7. and pressure gradient decreased by 6 to 19 7. as the rate of "gas generation" increased from 0 to 2500 cm-3/s. (2) Bubble size increased by 50 to 55 % and new bubbles were formed as the rate of "gas generation" increased from 0 to 2500 cm3/s. As a secondary result, the bubble size distribution became wider. (3) As the rate of "gas generation" increased from 0 to 2500 cm3/s, the fraction of the "generated gas" flowing as bubbles decreased by 32 7.Show more Item Development of a coupled wellbore-reservoir compositional simulator for damage prediction and remediation(2013-08) Shirdel, Mahdy; Sepehrnoori, Kamy, 1951-Show more During the production and transportation of oil and gas, flow assurance issues may occur due to the solid deposits that are formed and carried by the flowing fluid. Solid deposition may cause serious damage and possible failure to production equipment in the flow lines. The major flow assurance problems that are faced in the fields are concerned with asphaltene, wax and scale deposition, as well as hydrate formations. Hydrates, wax and asphaltene deposition are mostly addressed in deep-water environments, where fluid flows through a long path with a wide range of pressure and temperature variations (Hydrates are generated at high pressure and low temperature conditions). In fact, a large change in the thermodynamic condition of the fluid yields phase instability and triggers solid deposit formations. In contrast, scales are formed in aqueous phase when some incompatible ions are mixed. Among the different flow assurance issues in hydrocarbon reservoirs, asphaltenes are the most complicated one. In fact, the difference in the nature of these molecules with respect to other hydrocarbon components makes this distinction. Asphaltene molecules are the heaviest and the most polar compounds in the crude oils, being insoluble in light n-alkenes and readily soluble in aromatic solvents. Asphaltene is attached to similarly structured molecules, resins, to become stable in the crude oils. Changing the crude oil composition and increasing the light component fractions destabilize asphaltene molecules. For instance, in some field situations, CO₂ flooding for the purpose of enhanced oil recovery destabilizes asphaltene. Other potential parameters that promote asphaltene precipitation in the crude oil streams are significant pressure and temperature variation. In fact, in such situations the entrainment of solid particulates in the flowing fluid and deposition on different zones of the flow line yields serious operational challenges and an overall decrease in production efficiency. The loss of productivity leads to a large number of costly remediation work during a well life cycle. In some cases up to $5 Million per year is the estimated cost of removing the blockage plus the production losses during downtimes. Furthermore, some of the oil and gas fields may be left abandoned prematurely, because of the significance of the damage which may cause loss about $100 Million. In this dissertation, we developed a robust wellbore model which is coupled to our in-house developed compositional reservoir model (UTCOMP). The coupled wellbore/reservoir simulator can address flow restrictions in the wellbore as well as the near-wellbore area. This simulator can be a tool not only to diagnose the potential flow assurance problems in the developments of new fields, but also as a tool to study and design an optimum solution for the reservoir development with different types of flow assurance problems. In addition, the predictive capability of this simulator can prescribe a production schedule for the wells that can never survive from flow assurance problems. In our wellbore simulator, different numerical methods such as, semi-implicit, nearly implicit, and fully implicit schemes along with blackoil and Equation-of-State compositional models are considered. The Equation-of-State is used as state relations for updating the properties and the equilibrium calculation among all the phases (oil, gas, wax, asphaltene). To handle the aqueous phase reaction for possible scales formation in the wellbore a geochemical software package (PHREEQC) is coupled to our simulator as well. The governing equations for the wellbore/reservoir model comprise mass conservation of each phase and each component, momentum conservation of liquid, and gas phase, energy conservation of mixture of fluids and fugacity equations between three phases and wax or asphaltene. The governing equations are solved using finite difference discretization methods. Our simulation results show that scale deposition is mostly initiated from the bottom of the wellbore and near-wellbore where it can extend to the upper part of the well, asphaltene deposition can start in the middle of the well and the wax deposition begins in the colder part of the well near the wellhead. In addition, our simulation studies show that asphaltene deposition is significantly affected by CO₂ and the location of deposition is changed to the lower part of the well in the presence of CO₂. Finally, we applied the developed model for the mechanical remediation and prevention procedures and our simulation results reveal that there is a possibility to reduce the asphaltene deposition in the wellbore by adjusting the well operation condition.Show more Item Experimental study of convective dissolution of carbon dioxide in porous media(2014-12) Liang, Yu, active 21st century; DiCarlo, David Anthony, 1969-Show more Geological carbon dioxide (CO₂) capture and storage in geological formations has the potential to reduce anthropogenic emissions. The viability of technology depends on the long-term security of the geological CO₂ storage. Dissolution of CO₂ into the brine, resulting in stable stratification, has been identified as the key to long-term storage security. The dissolution rate determined by convection in the brine is driven by the increase of brine density with CO₂ saturation. Here we present a new analog laboratory experiment system to characterize convective dissolution in homogeneous porous medium. By understanding the relationship between dissolution and the Rayleigh number in homogeneous porous media, we can evaluate if convective dissolution occurs in the field and, in turn, to estimate the security of geological CO₂ storage fields. The large experimental assembly will allow us to quantify the relationship between convective dynamics and the Rayleigh number of the system, which could be essential to trapping process at Bravo Dome. A series of pictures with high resolution are taken to show the existence and movement of fingers of analog fluid. Also, these pictures are processed, clearly showed the concentration of analog fluid, which is essential to analyze the convective dissolution in detail. We measured the reduction in the convective flux due to hydraulic dispersion effect compared to that in homogeneous media, to determine if convective dissolution is an important trapping process at Bravo Dome.Show more Item Experimental Study on Kinematics and Dynamics of Breaking Waves in Deep Water(2011-10-21) Lim, Ho JoonShow more A new measurement technique called fiber optic reflectometer (FOR) was developed to investigate multiphase flows. The principle and setup of the FOR technique were introduced and applied to various experiments. Based on the coherently mixed signal between the Fresnel reflection off the fiber-liquid interface and the scattered signal off the object, such as a gas bubble, and a solid particle, this single probe technique is capable of simultaneously measuring the velocity of the object with a high accuracy and the phase of the fluid. In addition, bubble diameter, velocity, and void fraction were measured directly. By means of a simple modification of the FOR technique, solute concentration and refractive index change were measured with a greatly improved accuracy. This modified technique was used for measuring of a NaCl concentration in deionized water to validate a new normalization technique. In the second part of this thesis, a plunging breaking wave in deep water has been studied. Using the wave focusing method, a strong plunging breaker was generated with accuracy in the deep water condition in a two-dimensional wave tank. It was possible to describe the breaking process in detail using a high speed camera with a frame rate of 500 or 1000 fps. Four kinds of experimental techniques were employed or developed to investigate the plunging breaker. Bubble image velocimetry (BIV) and particle image velocimetry (PIV) were used to measure the velocity fields. The velocity fields of the highly aerated region were obtained from the BIV measurements. In addition, the modified PIV technique is capable of measuring the velocities in the entire flow field including the aerated region. Mean and turbulent properties were obtained by the ensemble average. The mean velocity, mean vorticity, and mean kinetic energy were examined over the entire flow field. In addition, the Reynolds stresses and turbulent kinetic energy were calculated with high temporal and spatial resolutions. Free surface elevation was obtained from wave gauge measurements. BIV and PIV images were also used to obtain the free surface elevation and the boundary of the aerated region for more accurate results. The FOR technique was used to obtain the void ratio at each splash-up region. Compressibility of the plunging breaker was considered. Mass flux, momentum flux, kinetic energy, and Reynolds stresses at each FOR station were recalculated using the void ratio obtained from the FOR measurements. All terms at the first splash-up region were highly overestimated more than 100 percent unless the void ratio was applied to the calculation of fluxes and energies. Compared with the fully developed first splash-up region, the overestimation at the second and third splash-up was less significant. However, most terms were overestimated by 20~30 percent when the void ratio was not considered.Show more Item Grain-scale mechanisms of particle retention in saturated and unsaturated granular materials(2010-12) Rodriguez-Pin, Elena; Bryant, Steven L.; Balhoff, Matthew; DiCarlo, David; Huh, Chun; Lloyd, Douglas R.Show more The phenomenon of particle retention in granular materials has a wide range of implications. For agricultural operations, these particles can be contaminants transported through the ground that can eventually reach to aquifers, consequently contaminating the water. In oil reservoirs, these particles can be clays that get detached from the rock and migrate with the flow after a change of pressure, plugging the reservoir with the consequent reduction in permeability. These particles can also be traceable nanoparticles, introduced in the reservoir with the purpose of identifying bypassed oil. For all these reasons it is important to understand the mechanisms that contribute to the transport and retention of these particles. In this dissertation the retention of micro and nano size particles was investigated. In saturated model sediments (sphere packs), we analyzed the retention of particles by the mechanism of straining (size exclusion). The analysis focused on experiments reported in the literature in which particles smaller than the smallest pore throats were retained in the sediment. The analysis yields a mechanistic explanation of these observations, by indentifying the retention sites as gaps between pairs of sediment grains. A predictive model was developed that yields a relationship between the straining rate constant and particle size in agreement with the experimental observations. In unsaturated granular materials, the relative contributions of grain surfaces, interfacial areas and contact lines between phases to the retention of colloidal size particles were investigated. An important part of this analysis was the identification and calculation of the length of the contact lines between phases. This estimation of contact line lengths in porous media is the first of its kind. The algorithm developed to compute contact line length yielded values consistent with observations from beads pack and real rocks, which were obtained independently from analysis of high resolution images. Additionally, the predictions of interfacial areas in granular materials were consistent with an established thermodynamic theory of multiphase flow in porous media. Since there is a close relationship between interfacial areas and contact lines this supports the accuracy of the contact line length estimations. Predictions of contact line length and interfacial area in model sediments, combined with experimental values of retention of colloidal size particles in columns of glass beads suggested that it is plausible for interfacial area and contact line to contribute in the same proportion to the retention of particles. The mechanism of retention of surface treated nanoparticles in sedimentary rocks was also investigated, where it was found that retention is reversible and dominated by attractive van der Waals forces between the particles and the rock’s grain surfaces. The intricate combination of factors that affect retention makes the clear identification of the mechanism responsible for trapping a complex task. The work presented in this dissertation provides significant insight into the retention mechanisms in relevant scenarios.Show more Item Implementation of full permeability tensor representation in a dual porosity reservoir simulator(2001-08) Li, Bowei; Miller, Mark A.; Sepehrnoori, Kamy, 1951-Show more Item Iteratively coupled reservoir simulation for multiphase flow in porous media(2008-05) Lu, Bo, 1979-; Wheeler, Mary F. (Mary Fanett)Show more Fully implicit and IMPES are two primary reservoir simulation schemes that are currently used widely. However, neither of them is sufficiently accurate or ef- ficient, given the increasing size and degree of complexity of highly heterogeneous reservoirs. In this dissertation, an iterative coupling approach is proposed and developed to solve multiphase flow problems targeting the efficient, robust and accurate simulation of the hydrocarbon recovery process. In the iterative coupling approach, the pressure equation is solved implicitly, followed by the saturation equation, which is solved semi-implicitly. These two stages are iteratively coupled at the end of each time step by evaluating material balance, both locally and globally, to check the convergence of each iteration. Additional iterations are conducted, if necessary; otherwise the simulation proceeds to the next time step. Several numerical techniques are incorporated to speed up the program convergence and cut down the number of iterations per time step, thus greatly improving iterative model performance. The iterative air-water model, the oil-water model, and the black oil model are all developed in this work. Several numerical examples have been tested using the iterative approach, the fully implicit method, and the IMPES method. Results show that with the iterative method, about 20%-40% of simulation time is saved when compared to the fully implicit method with similar accuracy. As compared to the IMPES method, the iterative method shows better stability, allowing larger time steps in simulation. The iterative method also produces better mass balance than IMPES over the same time. The iterative method is developed for parallel implementation, and several test cases have been run on parallel clusters with large numbers of processors. Good parallel scalability enables the iterative method to solve large problems with millions of elements and highly heterogeneous reservoir properties. Linear solvers take the greatest portion of CPU time in reservoir simulations. This dissertation investigates advanced linear solvers for high performance computers (HPC) for reservoir simulation. Their performance is compared and discussed.Show more Item On some problems in the simulation of flow and transport through porous media(2009-08) Thomas, Sunil George; Wheeler, Mary F. (Mary Fanett)Show more The dynamic solution of multiphase flow through porous media is of special interest to several fields of science and engineering, such as petroleum, geology and geophysics, bio-medical, civil and environmental, chemical engineering and many other disciplines. A natural application is the modeling of the flow of two immiscible fluids (phases) in a reservoir. Others, that are broadly based and considered in this work include the hydrodynamic dispersion (as in reactive transport) of a solute or tracer chemical through a fluid phase. Reservoir properties like permeability and porosity greatly influence the flow of these phases. Often, these vary across several orders of magnitude and can be discontinuous functions. Furthermore, they are generally not known to a desired level of accuracy or detail and special inverse problems need to be solved in order to obtain their estimates. Based on the physics dominating a given sub-region of the porous medium, numerical solutions to such flow problems may require different discretization schemes or different governing equations in adjacent regions. The need to couple solutions to such schemes gives rise to challenging domain decomposition problems. Finally, on an application level, present day environment concerns have resulted in a widespread increase in CO₂capture and storage experiments across the globe. This presents a huge modeling challenge for the future. This research work is divided into sections that aim to study various inter-connected problems that are of significance in sub-surface porous media applications. The first section studies an application of mortar (as well as nonmortar, i.e., enhanced velocity) mixed finite element methods (MMFEM and EV-MFEM) to problems in porous media flow. The mortar spaces are first used to develop a multiscale approach for parabolic problems in porous media applications. The implementation of the mortar mixed method is presented for two-phase immiscible flow and some a priori error estimates are then derived for the case of slightly compressible single-phase Darcy flow. Following this, the problem of modeling flow coupled to reactive transport is studied. Applications of such problems include modeling bio-remediation of oil spills and other subsurface hazardous wastes, angiogenesis in the transition of tumors from a dormant to a malignant state, contaminant transport in groundwater flow and acid injection around well bores to increase the permeability of the surrounding rock. Several numerical results are presented that demonstrate the efficiency of the method when compared to traditional approaches. The section following this examines (non-mortar) enhanced velocity finite element methods for solving multiphase flow coupled to species transport on non-matching multiblock grids. The results from this section indicate that this is the recommended method of choice for such problems. Next, a mortar finite element method is formulated and implemented that extends the scope of the classical mortar mixed finite element method developed by Arbogast et al [12] for elliptic problems and Girault et al [62] for coupling different numerical discretization schemes. Some significant areas of application include the coupling of pore-scale network models with the classical continuum models for steady single-phase Darcy flow as well as the coupling of different numerical methods such as discontinuous Galerkin and mixed finite element methods in different sub-domains for the case of single phase flow [21, 109]. These hold promise for applications where a high level of detail and accuracy is desired in one part of the domain (often associated with very small length scales as in pore-scale network models) and a much lower level of detail at other parts of the domain (at much larger length scales). Examples include modeling of the flow around well bores or through faulted reservoirs. The next section presents a parallel stochastic approximation method [68, 76] applied to inverse modeling and gives several promising results that address the problem of uncertainty associated with the parameters governing multiphase flow partial differential equations. For example, medium properties such as absolute permeability and porosity greatly influence the flow behavior, but are rarely known to even a reasonable level of accuracy and are very often upscaled to large areas or volumes based on seismic measurements at discrete points. The results in this section show that by using a few measurements of the primary unknowns in multiphase flow such as fluid pressures and concentrations as well as well-log data, one can define an objective function of the medium properties to be determined, which is then minimized to determine the properties using (as in this case) a stochastic analog of Newton’s method. The last section is devoted to a significant and current application area. It presents a parallel and efficient iteratively coupled implicit pressure, explicit concentration formulation (IMPEC) [52–54] for non-isothermal compositional flow problems. The goal is to perform predictive modeling simulations for CO₂sequestration experiments. While the sections presented in this work cover a broad range of topics they are actually tied to each other and serve to achieve the unifying, ultimate goal of developing a complete and robust reservoir simulator. The major results of this work, particularly in the application of MMFEM and EV-MFEM to multiphysics couplings of multiphase flow and transport as well as in the modeling of EOS non-isothermal compositional flow applied to CO₂sequestration, suggest that multiblock/multimodel methods applied in a robust parallel computational framework is invaluable when attempting to solve problems as described in Chapter 7. As an example, one may consider a closed loop control system for managing oil production or CO₂sequestration experiments in huge formations (the “instrumented oil field”). Most of the computationally costly activity occurs around a few wells. Thus one has to be able to seamlessly connect the above components while running many forward simulations on parallel clusters in a multiblock and multimodel setting where most domains employ an isothermal single-phase flow model except a few around well bores that employ, say, a non-isothermal compositional model. Simultaneously, cheap and efficient stochastic methods as in Chapter 8, may be used to generate history matches of well and/or sensor-measured solution data, to arrive at better estimates of the medium properties on the fly. This is obviously beyond the scope of the current work but represents the over-arching goal of this research.Show more Item Pipe fractional flow through branched conduits(2015-08) Stewart, Jeffrey Robert; Sharma, Mukul M.; Nagoo, Anand SShow more In the field of multiphase flow, the so-called phase splitting problem is a recurrent topic of discussion. In a branching conduit, it is of practical importance to know a priori how the phases split. Over the years, a variety of models have been developed to predict this and describe the physics involved. Despite this wealth of knowledge, little connection has been made between this question and fluid flow in networks. How phases split is determined by the system of equations solved, and no physics is incorporated to determine the phase split. To address this issue, a novel formulation of a multiphase network has been devised and validated against data and existing solutions, as well as compared to existing software. Additionally, current phase-splitting models have been discussed and compared. A new phase-splitting model based on a conservation-of-momentum approach is discussed and compared to branched-flow data. In building and validating this new model, a database of branched-flow experiments containing over 5000 data points from multiple laboratories has been gathered and systematized. This model has been incorporated into the existing network model to serve as additional equations when boundary conditions are unknown, and also to validate solutions found by the solver to ensure it is feasible. From this study, it was found that some current network solvers commercially available can arrive at inaccurate solutions. Moreover, such solvers can use an unorthodox approach to solve network problems and does not explicitly solve for Kirchhoff's laws. This issue is compounded by solution non-uniqueness--especially in networks with a high degree of looping. It is shown here that convergence is largely dependent on the initial guess. The phase splitting equation developed shows the degree of phase splitting at a junction varies primarily with branch configuration, pressure, void fraction, and flow rate. Current phase-splitting equations tend to exaggerate the phase split at a branch. In order to obtain the most exaggerated phase split, a vertical side-branch orientation should be used with a high mass takeoff.Show more Item Reservoir-Wellbore Coupled Simulation of Liquid Loaded Gas Well Performance(2013-11-12) Riza, Muhammad FeldyShow more Liquid loading of gas wells causes production difficulty and reduces ultimate recovery from these wells. In 1969, Turner proposed that existence of annular two-phase flow at the wellhead is necessary for the well to avoid liquid loading. In this work we applied Turner?s approach to the entire wellbore. Analysis of available data from literature showed that transition from annular flow occurs much earlier at well bottom than at the wellhead. This entire wellbore approach proved to be more accurate in predicting onset of liquid loading. In addition, we developed a simple pseudo-steady-state reservoir flow model that was seamlessly connected to a wellbore two-phase flow model. The model is capable of predicting the time a gas well will produce without getting loaded with liquid and the length of time it can produce since loading inception if no intervention is carried out. We were able to develop a normalized time function applicable many reservoirs that would be indicative of loading-free productive life of a gas well.Show more