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Publication Detail
Effect of glycerol addition on phase inversion in horizontal dispersed oil-water pipe flows
The effect of interfacial tension on the phase inversion process during horizontal pipe flow of an oil-aqueous solution was investigated. Interfacial tension was varied by adding small amounts of glycerol in the water phase. At these glycerol concentrations the density and viscosity of the aqueous phase changed by 1% or less. Exxsol™ D140 (5.5mPas, 828kgm -3 ) was used as the oil phase. The experiments were carried out in a 38mm ID acrylic test pipe. The phase continuity and appearance of phase inversion were investigated using conductivity (wire and ring) probes and an Electrical Resistance Tomographic (ERT) system. The ERT also provided diagrams of the phase distribution in a pipe cross section. Drop size distribution was monitored using a dual impedance probe. It was found that starting from a water continuous flow with increasing oil fraction at constant mixture velocity the mixture inverted initially in the middle of the pipe (measured at 19mm from the top pipe wall) while a higher oil fraction was required for inversion at the top (measured at 4mm from the top pipe wall) and finally the rest of the pipe. The addition of glycerol did not affect the phase fraction where the initial inversion occurred but caused an increase in the oil fraction needed to complete the inversion. The drop size measurements were used to explain this behaviour. Pressure drop was found to decrease with increasing oil fraction but this trend reversed when inversion spread to the pipe wall and the oil continuous phase came in contact with it. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
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