The effects of buoyancy on the flow regimes of submerged gas injection were studied in this investigation. A capillary tube submerged in water was used for gas injection in microgravity and terrestrial conditions, and the resulting flow regimes and bubble sizes were documented. The effects of liquid co-flow and reduced surface tension were also analyzed. Under reduced gravity, three flow regimes were observed over the range of conditions tested. At low gas flow rates, the bubbles did not detach from the injector, forming an interconnected bubble cluster that adhered to the injector. Single bubbles started detaching and moving away from the injector when the Weber number reached a value around 3. At gas flow rates corresponding to a Weber number value of 10, the bubble coalescence regime was observed near the injector. It was found that the absence of buoyancy prevented the formation of the jetting regime. For all gas throughputs, the co-flowing liquid aided the detachment of the bubbles, resulting in the generation of more uniform bubbles than in quiescent liquids. The presence of co-flow resulted in a smaller bubble size accompanied by an increased frequency of bubble formation. Reduced surface tension produced a similar effect, resulting in smaller bubbles.
- Petroleum Institute
Submerged Gas Injection in Microgravity
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Carrera, J, Parthasarathy, RN, & Gollahalli, SR. "Submerged Gas Injection in Microgravity." Proceedings of the ASME 2002 Engineering Technology Conference on Energy. Engineering Technology Conference on Energy, Parts A and B. Houston, Texas, USA. February 4–5, 2002. pp. 29-35. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ETCE2002/CAE-29009
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