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A Robust Three-Phase Isenthalpic Flash Algorithm Based on Free-Water Assumption

[+] Author Affiliations
Ruixue Li, Huazhou Andy Li

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. OMAE2017-61193, pp. V008T11A036; 18 pages
doi:10.1115/OMAE2017-61193
From:
  • ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 8: Polar and Arctic Sciences and Technology; Petroleum Technology
  • Trondheim, Norway, June 25–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5776-2
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME

abstract

Multiphase isenthalpic flash calculations are often required in compositional simulations of steam-based enhanced oil recovery methods. These flash calculations are challenging in the narrow-boiling regions and in the determination of the correct number of existing phases. Based on the free-water assumption that the aqueous phase is pure water, a robust and efficient algorithm is proposed to perform isenthalpic three-phase flash calculations in this work. Multiphase equilibria can be considered by this algorithm, including single-phase equilibria, two-phase equilibria, and three-phase vapor-liquid-aqueous equilibria.

Isenthalpic flash is a type of flash calculation conducted at given pressure and enthalpy for a feed mixture. In the proposed algorithm, assuming the feed is stable, the temperature is first determined by solving the energy conservation equation. Then the stability test on the feed mixture is conducted at the calculated temperature and the given pressure. If the mixture is found unstable, the two-phase and three-phase vapor-liquid-aqueous isenthalpic flash calculations can be simultaneously initiated without resorting to stability tests. To achieve simultaneous flashes, the outer loop is used to update the temperature by solving the energy conservation equation. The inner loop is used to obtain phase fractions and compositions by performing a three-phase free-water isothermal flash. Note that a two-phase isothermal flash will be initiated if an open feasible region in the phase fractions appears in any iteration during the three-phase isothermal flash or any of the ultimately calculated phase fractions from the three-phase flash do not belong to [0,1]. Negative flash is allowed in the three-phase free-water isothermal flash.

A number of example calculations for water/hydrocarbon mixtures are carried out to test the robustness of the proposed algorithm. At low to medium pressures, a good agreement can be achieved between the results obtained by this algorithm and those obtained by the conventional algorithm. This algorithm performs well for the narrow-boiling regions, for example, the three-phase vapor-liquid-aqueous equilibrium region encountered for the water/hydrocarbon mixtures. During the iteration, the new algorithm can readily handle the appearance and disappearance of phases in the inner loop as temperature updates in the outer loop. The number of stability tests involved in the new algorithm is significantly reduced, helping to boost its computational efficiency.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Algorithms , Water

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