This paper presents the comparative study of experimental, modeling, and simulation results that are performed using commercially available ANSYS Fluent software to analyze the separation kinetics of oil and water in a horizontal separator at various velocities and watercuts. The horizontal pipe separator used in this study has an internal diameter of 0.0762 m and a length of 10.3 m separating oil and water with specific gravities of 1.0 and 0.857 and watercuts ranging from 20 to 90%. The mixture velocities studied are 0.08, 0.13, and 0.20 m/s. Numerical simulations are done using the hybrid Eulerian-Eulerian multifluid VOF model to study the effect of watercut on the creaming of the oil layer and sedimentation of the water layer respectively. As the mixture velocities increased, the initial length of separation increased like experimental results. As the watercut increased, the separation of water enhanced, while the oil creaming improved with the lowering of the watercut as expected. Numerical results showed good agreement for water/dispersion interface predictions for all the conditions studied. The CFD results are compared against experimental results obtained by Othman in 2010 and agree with the trend of separation. The numerical simulations gave insights into the velocity profiles in each of the layers such as creamed oil, sedimented water, and the layer of emulsion that is not separated. Also, the numerical results are validated against the extended Gassies (2008) model incorporating correlation for turbulent time decay and oil volume fraction proposed by Dabirian et al in 2018.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.