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Keywords:

  • petroleum;
  • transport;
  • mass transfer;
  • fluid mechanics

Abstract

Wax deposition modeling becomes complicated when multiphase flow is involved. Empirical heat and mass transfer correlations are unreliable for multiphase deposition modeling and full scale computational fluid dynamics calculations require expensive computational intensity. In this work, numerical methods are used to study wax deposition in oil/water stratified flow through a channel. A unidirectional flow analysis is used to calculate the nonisothermal hydrodynamics and mass transfer. It was found that the change in the position of the oil/water interface throughout the channel must be taken into accounted for the mass balance to be valid. Unfortunately, this change has not been accounted for in all previous studies. In addition, the growth of the wax deposit as a function of time along with the effect of oil/water flow rate ratio is discussed. The presence of water significantly reduces the severity of wax deposition by altering the heat and mass transfer characteristics. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011