Surface wetting in multiphase pipe-flow

Jakob R. Bentzon*, Attila Vural, Karen L. Feilberg, Jens H. Walther

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The present study examines the quantity of surface wetting in a two-phase oil and water pipe flow. The study is performed by employing an Eulerian-Eulerian computational fluid dynamics model using the S-gamma droplet size distribution model within STAR-CCM+. In the North Sea, production of oil and gas, water-phase surface processes such as scale and corrosion account for 40-50% of operating expenses. The objective of the study is to investigate best practices for the prediction of phase distribution aimed at evaluating the degree of the wall in contact with the water phase (waterwetting). The model is validated by performing detailed numerical simulations corresponding to the experimental studies by Kumara, Halvorsen, and Melaaen (Meas. Sci. Technol., vol. 20, p. 114004, 2009). The comparison yields good agreement with the observed measurements with slight deviations in the predicted dispersion rate but accurate prediction of the liquid holdup. Comparison of droplet sizes to those observed in experiments by Elseth (PhD, Telemark University College, 2001) indicates that tuning of the S-gamma model is necessary to provide accurate droplet size predictions. The surface wetting is then evaluated with its interdependence with liquid holdup and dispersion rate. Increase in the dispersion with a decrease in the Richardson number is observed in agreement with stability analysis of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMultiphase Science and Technology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)137-154
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Multiphase
  • CFD
  • Euler-Euler
  • Water-wetting
  • Liquid holdup
  • STAR– CCM+
  • S-gamma
  • Droplet size, oil
  • Surface wetting


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