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, September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
1
Proceedings of First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng.
September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
ANG1/P103
VALIDATION OF EXISTING MODELS FOR THE PREDICTION OF THE TWOPHASE
FLOW BEHAVIOR IN OILNATURAL GAS PIPELINES
Dionissios P. Margaris
Assist.Prof., Dr.Ing.
University of Patras
Mechanical Engineering and
Aeronautics Department
Fluid Mechanics Laboratory
26500 Patras, Hellas.
Tel. & Fax: 061 997202
email: margaris@mech.upatras.gr
Dimitrios G. Papanikas
Prof., Dr.Ing.
University of Patras
Mechanical Engineering and
Aeronautics Department
Fluid Mechanics Laboratory
26500 Patras, Hellas.
Tel. & Fax: 061 997201
email: papanika@mech.upatras.gr
Andronicos E. Filios
Dr.Ing.
University of Patras
Mechanical Engineering and
Aeronautics Department
Fluid Mechanics Laboratory
26500 Patras, Hellas.
Tel. & Fax: 061 997202
email: afilio@tee.gr
ABSTRACT
Pressure drop and liquid holdup along with the flow
pattern recognition are the most important characteristics for
the design and analysis of twophase Oil/Natural Gas Systems
and are predicted by means of a computational system based
on formulations of twophase flow models, usually employed
for industrial applications. The results gained during the
validation phase of the generated code are compared with
experimental data, making apparent that the prediction
certainty of some established and widely applied formulations
is restricted in narrow ranges of pressure, flow rate and quality
parameters.
KEYWORDS
Twophase flow, Oilnatural gas, Pressure drop, Liquid
holdup, Annular flow, Stratified flow.
INTRODUCTION
Twophase flow often appears in the production and
transportation systems of hydrocarbon fluids (oil/natural gas)
and affects considerably their operation. The prediction of the
flow behavior of twophase mixtures is particularly necessary
in the design procedure of oil/natural gas pipe systems,
especially in the calculation of liquid holdup, this being the
fraction of the pipe volume occupied by the liquid phase, and
finally of the pressure drop. The complexity of twophase flow,
and more specifically that of gasliquid flow, has rendered
disadvantageous the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics
methods, whilst it has led to the use of simplified prediction
models, which, however, need to be evaluated before their
application. After a laborious search, an assessment of a
number of such models suitable for use in hydrocarbons
transport pipelines is made in the framework of a CEC
supported research [11]. Some of the results gained are
presented here.
Of the different types of twophase flow, gasliquid flows
are the most complex, since they combine the characteristics of
a deformable interface and the compressibility of the gas
phase. For given conditions of twophase flow in a pipe, the
gasliquid interfacial distribution can take any of a great
number of possible forms. Several factors tend to limit the
range of possibilities, these being the flow conditions and the
physical properties of the phases.
A wide variety of flow regimes have been defined in the
literature; this results partly from the subjective nature of flow
regime definitions and partly from the variety of names being
to the same flow regime. The most commonly occurring flow
patterns in a horizontal or a vertical pipe are shown in Fig. 1
and 2 respectively. Annular and stratified airwater and steam
water flows are the subject of this presentation.
ASME  GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
2
In any case, while predicting twophase pressure drop,
the determination of the flow pattern is a very important step.
Different flow patterns lead to very different prevailing
conditions in the pipe and therefore to different pressure drops.
Figure 1. Flow patterns in horizontal gasliquid flow.
On the other hand, predictions cannot be easily
ascertained through experimental data due to the flow
complexity. The reported experimental measurements are
usually limited to specific flow cases, and it is difficult to be
used for the production of generalized conclusions for two
phase flow phenomena. Despite the abovementioned,
experimental measurements are necessary for the validation of
computated results. In the present study, experimental data
concerning waterair or steamwater flows were used, after
being compiled in the literature ([2], [4], [6], [10]).
Bubble
Flow
Slug or
Plug
Flow
Churn
Flow
Annular
Flow
Wispy
Annular
Flow
Figure 2. Flow patterns in vertical gasliquid flow.
PHYSICOMATHEMATICAL MODELING FOR
TWOPHASE FLOW
In most applications of stratified flow, where the liquid is
assumed to lie on the lower part of the pipe due to the
gravitational force, an angle γ is also defined, as shown in Fig.
3, as well as the liquid height h
L
. Moreover, a pipe carrying a
twophase mixture is characterized by its length L, its diameter
d and its angle a with respect to the horizontal plane.
If we assume that the velocities of each phase are
constant, in any given crosssection within the zone occupied
by the phase, it is possible to write separated flow equations
for the conservation of mass and momentum for each phase.
The continuity equation of the liquid film of thickness δ in a
pipe of sectional area A has the form:
[ ]
[ ] 0 z δ A ) ε 1 ( ρ
t
A u ) ε 1 ( ρ
z δ m A u ) ε 1 ( ρ
z
z δ A u ) ε 1 ( ρ
G L L G L
e L G L L G L
−
∂
∂
+ −
− + −
∂
∂
+ − &
(1)
where ρ is the density, ε the void fraction, u the superficial
velocity,
e
m& the rate of conversion of liquid to gas per unit
length, z the axial distance, and the subscripts L and G denote
the liquid and gas phase respectively. For a pipe perimeter P,
e
m& is given by the equation:
LG
e
h
P
q m & & (2)
where h
LG
is the latent heat of vaporization, and q&is the heat
flux from the surface. For the liquid and the gas phases
respectively, Eq.(1) becomes:
ASME  GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
3
( ) [ ] ( ) [ ]
e G L L G L
m A ε 1 u ρ
z
A ε 1 ρ
t
&
− −
∂
∂
+ −
∂
∂
(3)
( ) ( )
e G G G G G
m A u ε ρ
z
A ε ρ
t
&
∂
∂
+
∂
∂
(4)
The general separated flow continuity equation represents
the overall balance for the twophase mixture of density ρ
TP
,
and can be derived by adding Eq.(3) and (4):
( ) ( ) 0 A m
z
A ρ
t
TP
∂
∂
+
∂
∂
&
(5)
and remembering that:
( )
G G G G L L
u E ρ E 1 u ρ m + − & (6)
In a similar way we can write the momentum balance
equation for the pipe–element of Fig. 3 for separated flow
(12):
( ) [ ]
( ) [ ]
2
G G G
2
L G L
G G G L G L
o
TP
u ε A ρ u ε 1 A ρ
z A
1
u ε ρ u ε 1 ρ
t A
P τ
a sin ρ g
z
p
+ −
∂
∂
+
+ + −
∂
∂
− −
∂
∂
−
(7)
where τ
ο
is the wall shear stress.
The energy equation of the separated flow can be derived
in a similar way. The numerical solution of the resulting
system of equations, for a more accurate analysis of twophase
flow, is the subject of another work phase [11].
S
G
A
G
S
i
γ
A
L
S
L
h
G
h
L
D
U
G
U
L
Gas
Liquid
τ
WG
τ
i
τ
i
τ
WL
Figure 3. Modeling of horizontal stratified flow.
PRESSURE DROP PREDICTION
For steady flow, which is examined in the present work,
the overall momentum balance can be rewritten in terms of
mass flux m&, Eq.(5), and quality ( ) m / m x x
G
& &
:
( )
( )
α sin ρ g
ε ρ
x
ε 1 ρ
x 1
dz
d
m
A
P τ
z
p
TP
G G
2
G L
2
2 o
+
]
]
]
]
+
−
−
+
∂
∂
− & (8)
The three terms on the righthand side, represent the three
components of pressure gradient, that is, the frictional,
accelerational and gravitational pressure drops respectively.
The analytical solution of Eq.(8), combined with Eq.(6), it is
not the subject of the present paper. On the other hand, a great
number of predictive models have been published
internationally, in an attempt to provide solutions in connection
with experimental data in order to produce a convenient
computational tool for industrial applications. Some of the
most widely used and reliable ones have been selected, coded
and introduced into an integrated computational system. The
results produced have been analyzed against a set of
experimental data and are presented below.
LIQUID HOLDUP ESTIMATION
Liquid hold up, that is, the fraction on the pipe volume
occupied by the liquid phase, is usually a prerequisite for the
twophase pressure drop calculation. Some of the most well
ASME  GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
4
known and widely used models for the calculation of liquid
holdup are evaluated below.
The Flanigan model
Flanigan [9] takes into account only the influence of
volume flow rate and pipe diameter on the liquid holdup. The
relationship giving liquid holdup is the following:
006 , 1
G
L
u 3264 , 0 1
1
H
+
(9)
where u
G
is the gas superficial velocity.
The calculation of liquid holdup in this way is simpler,
but of more limited accuracy than the other models. The
Flanigan model is based on experiments performed with
inclined pipes and upwards flow with pipe diameter d=16 in.
The influence of pipe inclination on H
L
is considered
negligible. Results obtained by the application of the Flanigan
model are compared with experimental data in Fig. 4. As is
apparent, the predictions of the model are of moderate
accuracy, but are slightly better for very low or very high gas
flow rates.
The MukherjeeBrill model
The model of Mukherjee and Brill [5] was based on
experiments performed with a system consisting of gas phase
(air) and liquid phase (kerosene and lube oil) in a pipe of
diameter 3.8 cm and inclination with respect to the horizontal
varied between α=0
ο
and 90
ο
. The temperature varied between
t = –7.8 to 55.56
ο
C.
The following general equation for liquid holdup
calculation resulted from the experimental measurements:
( )
]
]
]
]
+ + +
6
C
LV
5
C
GV 2
L 4
2
3 2 1 L
N
N
N C a sin C a sin C C exp H (10)
where N
L
is the liquid viscosity number, N
GV
the gas velocity
number, N
LV
the liquid velocity number, and C
1
C
6
resulted
from the experimental correlations.
The model was found to be less accurate when the value
of liquid holdup is less than 10% or greater than 90% (in most
cases these values of liquid holdup occur in the stratified and
annular glow regime). Results obtained from the application
of
MukherjeeBrill model, are compared with experimental data
in Fig. 4, where its relatively poor agreement with the latter is
also displayed. In addition to that, the MukherjeeBrill model
was the one with the less accurate predictions among the three
(Premoli and Flanigan being the remaining two) applied to the
same flow conditions.
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
L
i
q
u
i
d
H
o
l
d
u
p
Gas Flow Rate (m /h)
3
1
2
3
4
Q =0.97 m /h
d =4.54 cm
L
3
1: Tests
2: Premoli
3: Flanigan
4: Muckherjee  Brill
Figure 4. Liquid holdup for airwater flow in vertical pipes.
The TaitelDukler model
This model enables the calculation of liquid holdup (or
void fraction) when the flow pattern is stratified, using the
following equation [9]:
( ) ( ) ( )
]
]
]
− − − − −
−
2
L L L
1
G
1 h 2 1 1 h 2 1 h 2 cos
π
1
ε (11)
where ε
G
is the void fraction, and
L
h the dimensionless liquid
height (given by a complex implicit equation not presented
here). Results from the application of the TaitelDukler model,
compared with experimental measurements are presented in
Fig. 5. As is apparent, this model has remarkable agreement
with the experimental data for high pressures (75 bar) and high
gas flow rates, while for smaller flow rates or for higher
pressures (120 bar) the disagreement of its predictions with the
experimental data becomes considerable, and therefore it
should be used with special care.
ASME  GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
5
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
h experimental
L
p=75 bar
d=18 cm
G=1015 kg/m s
Quality=0.010.2
2
: Dukler
h
c
a
l
c
u
l
a
t
e
d
L
Figure 5. Comparison between calculated and experimental
holdup values for watersteam stratified flow.
The Premoli model
This empirical model[1] is based on a wide range of
experimental data and calculates first the ratio S of the mean
velocities of the gas and liquid phase according to the
equation:
2 / 1
2
2
1
L
G
E y
E y 1
y
E 1 S
u
u
J
J
J
`
'
'
(

−
+
+ (12)
where y = β/(1β) with β = Q
G
/(Q
L
+Q
G
), and E
1
and E
2
are the
dimensionless numbers
22 , 0
G
L 19 , 0
1
ρ
ρ
Re 578 , 1 E
J
J
J
`
'
'
(

−
(13)
08 , 0
G
L 51 , 0
2
ρ
ρ
Re We 0273 , 0 E
−
−
J
J
J
`
'
'
(

(14)
where Re is the Reynolds number and We the Weber number.
Then, the void fraction can be calculated by:
G L
G
G L
G
G
u u S
u
Q SQ
Q
ε
+
+
(15)
where u
G
and u
L
are the gas and liquid superficial velocities
and Q
G
and Q
L
the gas and liquid volume flow rates.
This model proved to be the most accurate one as shown
in Fig. 4 for this specific application case. Its accuracy
becomes slightly poorer for the medium gas flow rates, but on
the whole it gave much better results than the other two models
compared (Flanigan and MukherjeeBrill).
PRESSURE DROP ESTIMATION
The LockhartMartinelli flow model
This model uses frictional multipliers and does not
examine the influence of surface tension on the pressure drop
[1]. In addition to that, it is inadequate in representing a wide
range of twophase flow pressure gradient. Despite its
deficiencies, the model has been widely used in the Oil and
Natural Gas Industry.
Results produced in medium pressure (20 bar), as well as in
high pressure (60 bar), and comparison of them with the results
produced by other similar models and with experimental data
is given in Fig. 6 and 7.
800 8800 12800 4800
12800
8800
4800
800
1
2
3
p=20 bar
d=25 mm
1: Lockhart  Martinelli
2: Friedel
3: Beggs  Brill
Experimental Pressure Gradient
C
a
l
c
u
l
a
t
e
d
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
G
r
a
d
i
e
n
t
Figure 6. Comparison between calculated and experimental
pressure drop for steamwater flow.
The Friedel model
Evaluation and comparison of about 25,000 data points
with some of the existing correlations produced the Friedel [1]
model:
035 , 0 045 , 0
r
2
LO
We F
H F 24 , 3
E Φ + (16)
E, F and H are dimensionless numbers, calculated as a function
of gas and liquid densities, gas and liquid friction factors, and
gas and liquid viscosities, and Fr and We are the Froude and
Weber numbers respectively.
Results produced by the application of the Friedel model
for specific flow conditions, and comparison of them with
experimental data are given in Fig. 6 and 7.
ASME  GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
6
p=60 bar
d=50 mm
Lockhart  Martinelli
Beggs  Brill
Friedel
Quality
C
a
l
c
.
/
E
x
p
e
r
.
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
G
r
a
d
i
e
n
t
0.57 0.77 0.67 0.87
1.10
2.10
1.60
0.60
Figure 7. Pressure gradient deviation vs. quality, for steam
water flow (G=227,5 kg/m
2
s).
The BeggsBrill model
More advanced than the previously presented model, and
probably as frequently used as that, this model consists of three
parts: one for the prediction of the twophase flow pattern
prevailing in the pipe, according to the transport properties of
the fluids and the flow rates of the two phases, one for the
calculation of liquid holdup and one for the calculation of the
pressure gradient.
The correlation proposed by Beggs and Brill [3] can be
used to account for the frictional or gravitational pressure
drop. Their model is applicable to downward twophase flow,
such as might occur in offshore gathering lines. A comparison
of results produced by this model with experimental data and
some other similar models is given in Fig. 6 and 7.
The Wallis model
This model is semi empirical and predicts twophase liquid
holdup and pressure drop [8]. It is applicable to either
horizontal or vertical co current upwardsannular twophase
flow. The flow is considered to be steady, one dimensional,
and the various coefficients used in its computational
procedure have been obtained by experimental observations in
airwater flow. More specifically, the wall friction factor is
computed for either laminar or turbulent flow. Subsequently,
the void fraction and the frictional pressure gradient for
horizontal pipes and computed by use of the semi empirical
“annular geometry model”, developed by Wallis, while for
vertical pipes the void fraction and the total pressure gradient
are computed iteratively using the modified Martinelli
correlation which takes into account the effect of curvature of
the shear stress profile. Results produced by the application of
Wallis model in special cases of annular flow have been
compared with experimental data, as well as with the results
produced by the DuklerFlanigan model, Fig.8, 9.
d=12.5 mm
annular flow
G =35.9 kg/m s
c
2
Wallis
Duckler  Flanigan
Tests
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
G
r
a
d
i
e
n
t
(
P
a
/
m
)
Liquid Mass Flux (kg/m s)
2
0 10 50 40 30 20
0
500
1000
1500
2000
Figure 8. Pressure gradient vs. liquid mass flux, for airwater
vertical flow.
The DuklerFlanigan model
Dukler [9] developed a model for the prediction of two
phase pressure drop, which in combination with the elevation
pressure drop correlation generated by Flanigan, gives the total
pressure drop occurring in a twophase flow pipeline.
The model is mostly used in the Natural Gas and Oil
Industries, in contradiction to some other models developed by
experimental results in airwater pipelines. It uses an empirical
correlation for the calculation of the frictional component of
pressure drop as a function of the single and twophase friction
factor, the twophase mixture density, the mixture velocity, the
pipeline segment length and the pipe internal diameter.
The elevation component of the two phase pressure
gradient is calculated using an experimental derived relation,
as a function of the Flanigan liquid holdup fraction, the
pipelinesegment vertical elevation rise and the sum of the
elevation rises of all segments. The method gives better results
if used by dividing the pipeline into small segments since it
takes account of the variation of fluid properties. The total
twophase pressure drop is given as the sum of the frictional
and elevation components.
ASME  GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
7
0
Wallis
Tests
p=2.4 bar
d=31.8 mm
Gas Mass Flux (kg/m s)
2
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
G
r
a
d
i
e
n
t
(
P
a
/
m
)
Tests
Wallis
50 100 150 250 200 300
0
25000
20000
15000
10000
5000
G =5.3 kg/m s
G =297.1 kg/m s
L
L
2
2
Figure 9. Pressure gradient vs. gas mass flux, in vertical
annular airwater flow.
OTHER MODELS FOR LIQUID HOLDUP AND
PRESSURE DROP
In order to provide more detailed and accurate models
than the ones mentioned above, some investigators have tried
to consider thoroughly the physics of specific flow regimes. A
great number of such models have been developed in order to
be applied in one flow regime each. The results of such
specific models are not necessarily better than the ones
produced by simpler models, some of which have been
presented here. Nevertheless, about ten other formulations for
different flow regimes have been selected and are in the
process of validation [11], this being necessary before their use
for the analysis and design of Industrial Oil and/or Natural Gas
Systems.
CONCLUSIONS
As regards liquid holdup, the comparison of the models’
predictions against experimental data was adequately
successful for most of the models used. More specifically, the
Premoli model displayed the closest agreement with the
experimental data, while the MukherjeeBrill had of the
poorest relative accuracy. The predictions of all models were
better for very low or very high gas flow rates. The Dukler
model, as stated before, displayed remarkable agreement with
experimental data (as shown in Fig. 5) for medium pressure
and high flow rates, while for lower flow rates its prediction
accuracy became much poorer. For even higher pressures (120
bar) the predictions of the model were far from these expected.
Among the general pressure drop models used, as made
apparent in Fig. 6, the LockhartMartinelli model, despite the
fact that it is the oldest and perhaps the simplest one, was
definitely not the one of poorest accuracy. For the specific
cases, the Friedel model was generally the most accurate one.
Comparing Fig. 6 with Fig. 8 we reach the conclusion that the
higher the operating pressure, the poorer the accuracy of the
abovementioned models. This is expected in a way, taking
into consideration the fact that all these models were derived
from experimental data, and therefore, should not be expected
to behave properly far from the ranges of the data used for
their generation.
As regards the more elevated and specific models
compared, the Wallis model, as shown in Fig. 9, behaves in a
better fashion for lower operating pressures and lower liquid
flow rates. Compared with the DuklerFlanigan model, the
latter displays considerably better behavior with respect to the
experimental data, while the Wallis model seems to behave
very badly at high liquid flow rates, as shown in Fig. 8, and
therefore it should not be used in such cases.
REFERENCES
[1] Hetsroni G., (1982), Handbook of Multiphase Systems,
Mc GrawHill, New York.
[2] Owen D.G., Hewitt G.F. (1987), An improved annular
twophase flow model, Proc. of the 3
rd
Int. Conf. on
Multiphase Flow, the Hage, Netherlands.
[3] Beggs D.H., (1985), Gas Prediction Operation
Publications, Tulsa, USA.
[4] Oliemans R.V.A., Pots B.F.M., Trompe N., (1986),
Modelling of Annular Dispersed TwoPhase Flow in Vertical
Pipes, J. of Multiphase Flow, Pergamon.
ASME  GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 1720, 2001, Patras, Greece
8
[5] Mukherjee H., Brill J.P., (1983), Liquid holdup
correlations for inclined twophase flow, J. of Petroleum
Technology , pp. 10031008.
[6] Chen J.J.J., Spedding P.L., (1984), Holdup in twophase
flow, Int. J. of Multiphase Flow, Vol. 10, No 3, pp. 307309.
[7] ManzanoRuiz J., Hernander A. et al., (1967), Pressure
drop in Steam/Water Flow through largebore horizontal piping,
Proc. 3
rd
Int. Conf. on Multiphase Flow, the Hage,
Netherlands.
[8] Wallis G.B., (1969), One Dimensional TwoPhase Flow,
Mc GrawHill, USA.
[9] Gas Suppliers Ass., (1987), Engineering Data Book, Vol.
I, II, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
[10] Kawaji M., Anoda Y., Nakamura H., Tasaka T., (1987),
Phase and Velocity Distributions and Holdup in High Pressure
Steam/Water Stratified Flow in a large diameter horizontal
pipe, Int. J. of Multiphase Flow, Vol. 13, No 2, pp. 145149.
[11] MPFProject Team, (198990), Multiphase Pipe Flow
Modelling in Natural Gas and Oil Systems, Project 09052/89
CEC, Directorate of Energy.
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