Three-phase flow of oil, water and air is investigated in a horizontal pipe of inner diameter 40 mm. The mineral oil used in the experiments is similar to crude oil transported in industrial pipelines with a viscosity of μo = 0.919 Pa s and ro = 889 kg/m3 at 20◦C. Careful measurements of pressure drop are performed at different flow rates of the liquids and with the air superficial velocity being varied in steps between Jg = 0.0 m/s and Jg ≈ 6.5 m/s. The pressure drop behaviour depends upon the initial two-phase flow regime of the two liquids, and in most cases it shows a progressive increase caused by the injection of air. A wide variety of flow patterns is observed: pictures of flow configurations obtained by starting with the two liquids in core-annular and wavy-annular regimes are provided together with full descriptions.
Experimental investigation of three phase oil/water/air flow / G., Sotgia; Stalio, Enrico. - STAMPA. - (2008), pp. 271-276. (Intervento presentato al convegno Congresso nazionale UIT sulla trasmissione del calore tenutosi a Palermo nel 23-25 giugno 2008).