A CFD Simulation of the Parameters Affecting the Performance of Downhole De-oiling Hydrocyclone

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum University of Technology, Ahwaz, Iran

2 Department of Gas Engineering, Petroleum University of Technology, Ahwaz, Iran

Abstract

Among the all parameters affecting the performance of a downhole de-oiling hydrocyclone, the investigation of internal flow field deserves more attempts especially in the petroleum industry. In this study, the effects of inlet flow rate, inlet oil volume fraction, and oil droplet diameter on the separation efficiency and pressure drop ratio have been investigated along the hydrocyclone body. All the simulations were performed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques, in which the Eulerian multiphase model and the Reynolds stress turbulent model were employed for the prediction of multiphase and turbulent flow parameters through the hydrocyclone. The velocity component profiles, separation efficiency, pressure drop, and volume fraction are also other parameters which have been considered in this work. The results of the simulations illustrate good agreement with the reported experimental data. Furthermore, the simulations indicate that the separation efficiency almost increases twofold, when the droplet diameter increases from 25 to 50 micron. The effect of inlet flow rate on the separation efficiency is so significant that an increase in inlet flow rate from 5 to 25 l/min causes a sharp increase in the separation efficiency and raises it 2.5 times the initial value. However, the inlet oil volume fraction showed a minor effect on the hydrodynamic flow behavior in the hydrocyclone body compared to the other investigated parameters.

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