Multiphase Flow

Multiphase flows are present in many industrial applications used by a variety of industries ranging from power generation to food and beverages. A multi-phase flow implies the simultaneous presence of two or more phases, that is, liquid, gaseous and/or solid.

Industrial Sectors Benefiting from Multiphase Flow Analysis

Among the industries and industrial applications that require multiphase flow analysis we can identify:

  • Power generation: steam turbines, liquid, coal and biomass combustion and cavitation
  • Automotive: fuel injection, SCR and FAP exhaust systems, condensed water disposal, de-icing and tank filling and sloshing
  • Aerospace and Marine: fuel injection, atomization, free surface flows, sloshing and particle transport
  • Chemical and process industry: abatement, filtration and separation systems, scrubbers, mixers, particle transport, fluid-beds, erosion, deposition, bubbly flows, slug catchers
  • Environmental: wave breaking, tide, tsunamis, particle dispersion
  • Food & beverage and bio-technology: filling and packaging, drying processes

Engineering Simulation applied to Multiphase Flows

Multiphase Flows

A multiphase simulation requires specific numerical models to accurately simulate the interaction between different phases. The two most commonly used modelling techniques are:

  • Eulerian-Eulerian which is typically used in the study of dense dispersed systems
  • Eulerian-Lagrangian, more suitable for particle transport cases

Both techniques take into account the interaction of phases in terms of momentum, heat, turbulence and mass exchange.

Some of the physics that a numerical model should be able to capture include:

  • drag calculation
  • bubbly regimes, poly-dispersed fluids
  • free surface flows
  • surface tension and wall adhesion, capillarity
  • particle transport
  • liquid sprays, atomization, primary and secondary break-up
  • thermal phase change, evaporation, gasification
  • cavitations
  • immiscible liquids

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Why is Multiphase Flow Analysis so important?

Multiphase simulation provides an advanced numerical tool that is able to obtain qualitative and quantitative information about complex flows. It gives a deep insight into phenomena that are hardly observable or measurable. Some of the advantages that can be derived from multiphase flow simulation are:

  • higher energy efficiency (e.g. by improving the fuel injection systems in the aero, auto and power generation sectors)
  • reduced emissions (e.g. by increasing the efficiency of filtration, separation and abatement systems)
  • improved production (e.g. by increasing mixing in process columns, reactors, mixers, and increasing efficiency for hydraulic and steam turbines)
  • improved performance (e.g. by decreasing drag in marine applications)
  • longer life for pumps, valves and other devices thanks to reduced cavitations
  • increased security thanks to particle transport prediction in the case of large-scale industrial accidents and tsunamis
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