Liquid Holdup Correlations
Inclined TwoPhase Flow
Hemanta Mukherjee, sPE, JohnstmMaccco Schl.tnbwgp
James P. Brill, SPE, u. of Tulsa
summary
Liquid holdup behavior in twophase inclined flow was
studied in an inclined pipeflow simulator. Two sets of
empirical equations, one each for uphill and downhill
flow, are presented. For downhill stratified flow, a third
equation is presented. The liquid holdup equations arc
functions of dimensionless liquid and gas velocity
numbers in addition to liquid viscosity number and angle
of inclination. These four parameters uniquely define the
flowpattern transitions in inclined twophase flow. Con
sequently, the hoIdup equations are also implicitly flow
pattern dependent.
Introduction
An accurate prediction of liquid holdup is rcquied to
compute the hydrostatic head loss in twophase inclined
flow. In this case, hydrostatic head maybe the most im
portant of the pressure gradient components. There are
many liquid holdup correlations in the Iitcramre, but
nfmost d are for horizontnf or vertical uphilI flow.
Eaton et al. 1 proposed a holdup correlation based on
dnta for natnral gas, water, crude oil, and distillate oil
mixtures in 2 and 4in. (5 and 10cm) diameter
horizontal pipes. This correlation is based on tive dimen
sionless groups reflecting various physicaf properties,
flow rates, system pressures, and pipe diameters. A
study by Vohra et al. 2 showed that MIS correlation per
formed best on a collection of horizontal data taken .by
Eaton et al. 1 and Beggs and Brill. 3 Cunliffe4 found that
using the Eaton et al. correlation to predkt the total liq
uid volume in a wet gas pipeline was quite successful for
determining the incremental volume of liquid removed
from rak increases.
Using dyn~ic similarity annlysis, Dukler et at. 5
developed a boldup corm?lation for horizontal twophase
flow. This holdup correlation is implicit in Iiquid
holdup, ~quiring an iterative calculation. Experience
has shown that most wet gastransmission applications
will result in a nwslip liquid holdup calculation when the
Dukfer et at. correlation is used.
014925 36/S3{0041 .0923500 ,25
CoPYrlglIt ,983 socie>y of Petrde.m E@nws of AJ.4E
MAY 1983
.
for
The Beggs and Brill correlation was developed from
data obtained in an air/water flow system with 1 and
1,~.in. (2.5 and 3.8cm) diameter pipes. They con
sidered a rsnge of inclination angles from O to & 90.
Use of the correla~on requires first detemnining the
holduv for horizontal flow according to cmdicted
horiz&tal flow patterns. The horizontarholdu~ is then
corrected for angle of inclination. Palmer6 found that the
Beggs snd Brifl liquid holdup was overpredicted for both
uphill and dowrdill flow and suggested proper correction

factors.
For uphill flow from O to 9, Guzhov et al. 7 pmposed
a holdup correlation that is independent of inclination
angle. Hughmark and Pressburg g developed a general
holdup correlation for gaslliquid flow covering a wide
range of physical properties and diarnetem. This correla
tion is based on data taken in 1in. (2,54cm) diameter
pipe for vertical uphill flow of air, water, oils of different
viscosities, and carcfolly selected data of other
investigators.
In addition to these empirical liquid holdup correla
tions, at least two analytical holdup correlations deserve
mention. Bonnccaze et al. 9 developed a slug flow model
for inclined pipe based on a mass and force balance
around a simplified slug unit. The pressure drop con
tributions caused by the Iiqnid film and the gas bubble
were negfected, Using this holdup correlation, they cor
related pressure dmp data obtained in 1 xin. (3.8cm)
diameter pipe inclined at various angles around + 10 to
find an expression for friction factor. The holdup equa
tion and friction factor correlation were compared with
field dsta taken in a 6in. (15.24cm) dinrneter, 10,000ft
(3C48m) long pipe with a maximum deviation of 5 %.
With a very similar mechanistic approach, Singh and
Griffith 10 proposed a simple model for twophase sIug
flow in inclined pipes. Most of their mndel pammetera
were experimentally determined using five different
diameters of copper pipe at 5, 10, and 15 inclinations
with an air/water system. For stratified tlow, the authors
developed a holdup model based on Chezys open
channel flow equation. This equation shows that the liq
uid holdup is independent of gas flow, which is contrnry
1003
. . . .. . k,.,. 4
q:? . ... ,
TEST S3CT10N
v
TO TRANSDUCER
+
DETAIL A [>.:4
. .
SOLENOID
DRAIN VALVE
~
X GATE VALVE
 CHECK VALVE
+ ACTUATED BALL VALVE
+ MOTOR VALVE
~ ROTAMETER
@ OFJF,C,METER
 OIL F[LTER
a.
Ml, TANK
Fig. lSchematic of inched flow simulator.
to accepted phenomena. They also suggested a. method
of calculating liquid holdup for annular flow that is
iterative in nature. Their liquid holdup models repro
duced their data with rcasoaable accuracy.
Experimental Program
An experimental facility was designed and constructed to
obtain the desired test data. Fig. 1 is a schematic of the
test facility. The test sections consisted of an inverted U
shapc 1.5in. (3.8cm) ID nominal steel pipe. The closed
end of the Ushape test sections could be raised or
lowered to any angle from O to +90 from horizontal.
Each leg of the U was 56 ft (17 m) long with 22 ft (6.7
m) entrance lengths followed by 32 ft (9.8m) long test
sections on both uphill and downhill sides. Each test sec
tion could be isolated from the rest of the piping by
pneumatically actuated ball valves tint could be opened
or closed simultmeously when calibrating holdup sen
sors. Pressure taps 30.5 ft (9.3 m) apmt were located in
each test section to permit measuring absolute and dlf
fercntiaJ pressures using Vnlidyne transducers. A 7ft
(2m) long transpammt Lexin pipe section was located in
each test section to permit flow pattern observations and
mounting of capacitancetype holdup sensors shown in
F@ 2. The outputs from tiese two sensors were record
ed on an oscillograph as a timevarying trace. For ob
taining am integnited value of holdup over a particular
period of time, a digital multimeter was used to note the
gain in voltage output over that particular time. This
voltage gain can easily be converted to a liquid holdup
fraction using a linear interpolation over the calibrated
values of voltage gain for O and 100% oil in the pipe.
The oil and gas phases were carefully metered before
mixing, turbbre meters, orifice meters, or rotametera
wece used. depending on the phase and the flow rates.
1004
The twophase mixmm flowed through the test sections
and into a horizontal separator. The gas (air) was vented
to the atmosphere and the liquid passed through a filter
and into a storage tank.
Kerosene and lube oil were used as the liquid phas~s.
The surface tension, density, and viscosity of the
kerosene at 60F (15 .56C) were 26 dyne{cm (26
mN/m), 51 lbm/cu ft (816.9 kg/m3) and 2 cp (0.002
Pa. s), respectively. Corresponding values for the lube
oil were 35 dyne/cm (35 mN/m), 53. lbmlcu fr (849
kg/m3 ) and 29 cp (O .029 Pa.s). Temperatures between
18 and 132F (7.8 and 55.56C) were encountered
during the tests.
Phase Slippage and Liquid Holdup
Ia inclined twophaae pipe flow, a substantial part of the
totrd pressure losses may be contributed by, the
hydrostatic pressure difference. The relative contribu
tions of friction gradient and hydrostatic gradient maybe
dictated by the prevailing flow patterns, angle of inclina
tion, and dwction of flow. Many of the current design
pmcedurcs used for twophase pipelines fiil to account
for these effects with any rigor. Part of the problem. ii
most design procedrm?a is the assumption that the void
fraction is a unique function of quality and physical
properties of the fluids. This is prnbably tme where
homogeneous flow can be assumed or during bubble
flow at very low gas flow rates. Similar situations may
also arise where the phase velocity ii very Klgh, so that
friction pressurs drop governs the total pressure loss. But
in the remaining cases erirm may arise from. neglecting
the slip velocity between phases. Thk concept of slip
velocity comes from the physical phenomenon called
Slippage.
The term slippage is used to describe a natural
JOLRNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY
Fig. 2Capacitance sensor test cell and local electmics board.
phenomenon of one phase slipping past the other in two
phase pipe flow. There are several causes for slippage
between phases, Frictional resistances to flow or irrever
sible energy losses in the direction of flow arc much less
in the gas phase than in the liquid phase. This makes the
gas more transmissible than liquid in twophase flow,
even in the absence of strong buoyancy effects such as in
horizontal flow. This effect can be ve~ prenounccd in
ariy segregated flow regime such as stratified flow. The
large difference ~ compressibilities between gas snd Iiq
uid causes the expanding gas to travel at a higher veloci
ty and to slip past the liquid when pressure decreases in
the direction of flow. Slippage between phases is also
premoted by the difference in buoyant forces acting on
the phases. In a static liquid medium, lessdense gas
tends to rise with a veIocity proportional to the density
difference. Zukoski 11 studied the effect of pipe inclina
tion angle on bubble rise velocity in a stagnant liquid. He
concluded that, depending on the pipe diameter, surface
tension and viscosity of fluids may appreciably affect the
bubble rise velnci~. His findings also showed that for
some conditions an inclimtion angle as small as 1 from
the horizontal can cause the bubble rise velocity to be
mo= than 1.5 times the value obtained for horizontal
pipes. This establishes a strong dependence.between in
clination angle and phase slippage. In the absence of any
annlyticzd formulation, the phenomenon of slippage
caused by bubble rise velocity is studlcd empirically.
Cheater gravitational forces on the moredense liquid
phase promotes fallback of liquid when shear forces and
buoyant forces fail to support the liquid in upward flow.
For downward flow it causes the liquid to travel faster
than the gas. Thus, while buoyancy aIways causes the
gas phase to rise dative to the liquid phase, gravity
always tends to cause the liquid to faU faster than the
gas.
A few impommt conclusions can be made from the
preceding discussion. Except for homogeneous flow, the
MAY 1983
.
presence of slippage between phases in twophase pipe
flow is unavoidable at any angle of inclination. In both
uphill and downhill bubbie or slug flow, when the liquid
phase is continuous and is capable of being suppmted by
itself, buoyant forces generate bubble rise velocity caus
ing slippage between phases. Near the slug and annula
mist flow transition or when the slug length becomes
long [> 1.5 to 3 ft (0.5 to 1 m)], the phases become
discontinuous. During this type of flow, broken liquid
slugs or rippIes incapable of bridging the pipe are seen to
fall back against the direction of uphill flow. Vecy
similar flow phenomena occur in dowabill stratified flow
when the liquid falls back and accelerates until the liquid
kinetic energy is balanced by the shear energy around the
liquid layer. In stratified flow, large irsitu velocities at
tained by the liquid as a result of acceleration by grsvity
normally causes a very smaU liquid holdup. This
phenomenon is shown in Fig. 3, where, in stratified flow
at O. 363ft/sec (O. 11m/s) liquid superficial velocity,
void fmction rises rnpidly to nearly 97% when very little
air flows simultaneously. At bigher liquid velocities in
bubble or slug flow, the void fraction builds up mop
sIowly. An important deduction at this point is that in
uphill flow, slippage causes liquid velocity to SIOW
down, resulting in a net accuqndation of liquid in the
flow channel or pipe and increasing the insitu liquid
fraction. The insitu liquid fraction is commonly called
liquid holdup. In downMll flow, slippage causes the
insitu liquid velocity to increase, resulting in a decrease
in liquid holdup. AU these causes of phase slippage and
the resulting flow patterns will occur as soon as one end
of the pipe is raised about one pipe diameter from the
other end, regardless of the angle of inclination. Thus,
depending on the Iengtl of the pipe snd direction of
flow, characteristic flow patterns or liquid hoIdup for in
cliied flow should be observed even at extremely low
angles. For exsmple, at my low uphiU angle, the
s~titied flow pattern should never be observed.
11305
,.o~
,, ,0 ,0 m ,00 ,,0
S ,EX,,C,AL 0.4, VS,OCITY (FT/$EC1
Fig. 3Void fraction vs. V%g at different values of V,L fOr
 30~ angle.
. .
0 20 40 ,0 m IOD 120
SUPERFICIAL0,$ vEmcnY (fTmc)
Fig. 4Void fraction vs. Vw at different values of V,L for
horizontal flow.
! .0
:
2 ,,4
:.
, s, = p..:,M,;sEc
. s!. : ,.,6, FV5,c
0,1 ~ ,,L, f.;.,+!,:;,,=
(mm ./s1
,o~o
,PERFIc,.+L . AS ,LOC,T, (FvwC)
Fig. 5Void fraction vs. Vw at different values of V,L for
+90 angle.
1006
Development of Liquid HoIdup Correlation
ArmIytical expressions for liquid holdup have been at
tempted for uphill twophase slug flow in vertical pipes
and for downhill flow at low angles of inclination in the
range of O to 15. Considering the complex slippage
mechanism, a global liquid holdup model for any pipe
inclination has not been attempted before.
More than 1,500 liquid holdup measurements at uphiIl
and downhill inclination angles from O to +90 from
horizontal were obtained in this stndy. Attempts to cor
relate these data into a global empirical liquid holdup
correlation are presented in the following. At each uphill
and downhii angle, void fraction was plotted as a func
tion of superficial gas velocity for fixed supeflcial liquid
velocity. Each of these pIots was continuous within the
error tolerance of the holdup measurements. Example
plots are shown in Figs. 4 through 6. At very high gas
rates, the curves almost become asymptotic with the
100% void fraction (O% liquid holdup). For downhiil
stratified flow at very low gas rates, the void fraction
rises rapidly and then almost linearly increases with in
creased gas rates. However, the void fraction plot for
horizontal ffow is sirniIar to the uphiIl plot, even in the
stratified flow regime. The geneml shapes of these plots
prompted sekction of a nonlinear regression equation of
the focm
[
HL =exp (cl +c2sin@+cssin26 +c4NZ )
NC. 5
1
. , , , , , , . , , , , , , ,
NL, 6
. . . . . . ...(1)
Subsequently, three liquid holdup correlations were at
tempted, one for uphiII and horizontal flow and the other
two for downhill stratified flow and the other downhill
flow patterns. The regression coefficients are given in
Table 1. The coefficients were obtained by using the
nonlinear BMDP regrcsaion programs. 12 In each of the
regression analyses, the outliers in the residual plot w, w
deleted from the data set and the anaIysis was repeate~.
The seIection of phase velocity numbers as the in
dependent variables instead of the phase supefllcial
velocities as shown in Figs. 4 through 6 was done to
make the variables dimensionless. These numbers were
also suggested as correlating parameters by Duns and
Ros, 13 Hagedorn and Brown, 14 and Eaton et al. 1 The
velocity numbers, together with the inclination angle,
also formed the independent variables defining the flow
patterns. Hence, inclusion of all these variables implicitl
y makes the holdup conflation flowregimedependent.
The use of dimensionless numbem should not affect the
shapes of curves shown in Figs. 4 through 6 since, for a
fixed oil, convecting superficial velocities to dimen
sionless form reqnires multiplication by a nearly constant
quantity of appmxima.tely 2.5 for this study.
Effects of In&nation Angle and Viscosity
The seconddegree polynomial function of the form
c1 +c2sinO+c3sin2@ was selected by plotting liquid
holdups for differsnt angles of inclination at fixed liquid
and gas velocity numbers. This relation was also con
firmed by comparing results of other equation forms in
trisl runs of the regmsion analysis. The best error as in
JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TEcHNOLOGY
dicated by the sum of squares was obtained using the
seconddegree relation. The equation is ako consistent
with the Beggs and Brill discove~ that liquid holdup
passes through maximums and minimums at fixed in
clination angles of approximately +5o 0 and 500,
~spectively, for their data. Eq. 1 shows that the liquid
holdup should increase as the uphill angle of inclination
increases: Thk can be shown graphically by comparing
liquid holdup values obtained fmm the plots in F@. 7
and 8, where void fractions arc plotted for the iame oil at
three simif.w &pirOciaI liquid velocities for horizontal
and uphill 30 pipe inclination.
Intuitively, increased liquid viscosity should increase
viscous shear, causing irrcrcased liquid holdup regardless
of iriclination angle. Positive coet%cients of the liquid
viscosity n~ber in all the holdup correlations support
this hypothesis,
In general, any force that creates drag on any phase
against the direction of flow tends to increase the insitu
fraction of that phase. As a result, viscous dtag on the
liquid will always tend to increase the liquid hoIdup, ir
respective of inclination angle. However, gratihy forces
on the mo~ dense phase will tend to increase the holdup
of that phase for uphill flow and decrease it for downhill
flow. Similarly, buoyant forces will tend to decrease
void fraction for uphill flow, while increasing it for
downhill flow,
Discussion of Results
The proposed fiquid holdup corrdatirm was tested with
the observed data to check the reproducibility of the
obsewed holdup values. For both the oils at different
angles .of inclination, the relative percerit errors were
calculated for individual experimental observations. For
each angle and each oil, the average percent errors md
their standard deviations (Table 2) were also calculated.
The capacitance sensor for liquid holdup rneasurcment
was found to be less. accurate in the fwtge of liquid
holdups less than 10% or more than 90%. In these
ranges of liquid holdups, ve~ high percent errors were
observed (more than 30%). More than 80% of these data
points wiib high percent errors wee found to be in an
nular or stratified flow regime, III both of these flow
regimes, the contribution from hydrostatic head to the
total p~ssure loss is quite insignificant. As such, those
data points with more than 30% relative percent error
were not used for the calculation of either average per
cent errors or the standard deviations.
In the development of these liquid holdup correlations,
the BMDP nordirrcar regression package was used. This
regression method minimizes the residual sum of squares
to calculate the regression coefficients. The observation
correspondkrg to the otitf ien in the residual plot were ex
cluded in the development of the holdup correlations.
Normally, these outliera indicated erroneous observa
tions. This criterion for cuHing data does not correspond
to minimizing the average percent error. Hence, when
these corrdations were applied to the observed data, a
fu~er culling of data based on average percent error
was required. Normally, dependbrg on the value of the
absolute relative error, the sensitivity of the holdup
measurement techniques reflects a great deal on the
average percent error. For very small values of obsemed
holdup, even with acceptable absolute error, relative er
MAY 1983
,.0
? .
*
0.,
0.,
,.4
e = W%s=
. s, = ,.,,, ,,/s,.
0.2 G ,,, . 0.55;.gj,,c
(0.09 .,s
Fig. aVoid fraction vs. V,g at different values of v~L for
90 angle,
!.,
,.8
6 0,
~
. s,
~ [FT/?.Ecl
$ ,., . ,,,,4 (mm ,s1
s
o ,.,6, (0.,, km
G $.9 (u, MI,)
0,2
. 7.i 12.2s MIS)
K 1,.0 13.66 MB)
Fig. 7Void fraction vs. superficial gas velocity at fixed
superficial liquid velocity for horizontal flow.
Fig. 8Void fraction vs. superficial gas velocity at fixed
superficial fiquid vefocity for uphill flow at 30.
1007
.
TABLE 1COEFFICIENTS OF LIQUID HOLOUP EQUATION
Flow
Flow Direction Pattern
e, C2 Cs c. C5 C6
__ _ _ z .
Uphill flow all 0.380113 0,129875 0.119788 2.343227 0.475686
downhll flow stratified 1,330282
0.288657
4. S08139
other 0.5i6644 0.78s805
4.17< 584 56.262268 0.079951 0.504S87
0.551627 15.519214 0.371771 0.393952
TABLE 2STAT13TICAL PARAMETERS FOR tiOLDUp
CORRELATIONS APPLIEO TO OBSERVED DATA
Average Standard
Anale Number of Error Deviation
(degkes)
Kerosene
5
20
30
45
50
60
70
80
90
0
x
30
50
70
80
90
Lube al
30
90
0
30
90
Data
35
48
57
2
6:
49
35
42
40
41
42
31
33
29
29
(%)
2.79
0.04
4.71
5.49
 ? .96
2.17
4,98
2,77
2,95
1,86
2.44
0.33
6.81
1.71
5.35
0.05
6.19
33 1.01
43 7.52
38 4.34
23 0.26
37 7,15
(%)
13.64
14.25
13.40
1.77
12.30
3.16
11,92
i3.55
16.80
13.95
13.79
25,95
18.73
20.32
18.91
19.s9
21.20
15.01
8,22
13,58
15.43
15.83
ror may be very kuge. This is often caused by division of
a small quantity in the calculation of percent error.
Values of average percent error and sfsndard deviations
for liquid holdup for each oil at different angles of in
clination are shown in Table2.
Conclusions
Ari empirical model forinclined twophase flow liquid
holdup is proposed. The proposed model enables. the
determination of liquid holdup regardless of the angle of
inclination and the direction of flow. The set of holdup
correlations is dependent on the snrne dlmension168s
painmeters that control the flow pattern transitions in
twophase. flow. Except for downhll stratified flow, the
liquid holdup correlations are continuous across flow
pattem transitions.
Nomenclature
c = ~~pirial constant
g =mvitationd accelemtion, ft/secz (m/sz)
HL =Iiq!iid holdup
N8V =gas velocity number, vfcbL/(g@]O25
NL =liquid viscosity number, pL~/(pLn3)]0Z
1008
NLP =liqtidvelocity nuniber, U$L[P@T)]025
P,g = supefIcisJ gas velocity, ft/5ec (m/s)
VSL = supefllcial liquid veloci~, ft/sec (m/s)
x = viscosity,, cp (Pas)
p = density, lbm/cu ft (kg/m3)
~ = s<~ace tension, dynelcm (mN/m)
@ = pipe inclinatiori angle from horizontal,
degree (rad)
. . . . . 
1. Eaton, B.A. tr cd.: ..The Prediction of FIOW Patterns, Liquid
Holdup and Pressure Lasses Occurring During Continuous Two
Phase F70w in Horkontal Pipelines, Tram., AJME (1967) 240,
81528.
2. Vohra, LR. et al,: Comparison of Liq.id Holdup and J+iction
Facmr Correlations for GasLiquid Flow,,, J. Per, Tech. (May
1975) 56468.
3. Beggs, H.D. and Brill, J. P.: A,$fudy or TwoPh&se F30w in In
clined Pipes, ?, J. Pa. Tech. (t&y 1973) 60717.
4, Cm[iffe, R, S,: Prediction of Condensate Flow Rates in LarEe
Diameter High Press.= Wet Gas Pipelines, APEA J. (197~)
171.
5. Dukler, A. E., Wicks, M. HI, md Cleveland, R, G.: Frictional
Pressure Drop in TwoPhase Flow: B. An Approach Through
3imilirity Analysis,, AIChE J. (Ian., 1964) 10, M51.
6. Palmer, C. M,: Evaluadon of Inclined Pipe TwoPhase Li@id
Holdup Correlations Using Experirnmaal Data,, MS thesis, U. of
7.1s (1975).
7. Guzho., A.1., Marnaycv, V.A., and OdisbariYa, G. E.: A Study
of Tmspadadon in GasLiquid Systems,,, Pro.., 10tb Jnd. Gas
Conference, Hamburg, West Germany (1967).
8, Hughmwk, G.A. ad Pressburg, B. S.: .Holdup and pressure
Dmp with Gas Liquid Flow in a Vertical Pipe,, AIChE J. (Dec.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
1961) 7, 677.
Bamecaze, R. H., Erskine, W., and Greskovich, E. J,: Holdnp
and PEssure Dmp for, Two Phase Slug Flow in Inclined
Pipelims,., AJCIUE J. (Sept. 1971) 17, 1109,
Sigh, G, and Griftifh, P.: Determination of PEssure Drop Op
tinium Pipe Size for a Two:Phase Slug Flow in an Inclined P!pe,
J. En*. fo, Ind, (My. 1970); Tram., ASME 92, 71726.
Zukoski, E. E.: %fl.erice of Viscosity, Surface Tension and In
clination Angle on Motio of !ong Bubbles in Closed Tubes, J.
Fluid ,?dech. (1966) 25,82137.
Dixon, W .J.: BMDPBiomedical Compuler Programs, P
Series,v, U, of California Press, Los Angeles (1977).
0..s. H. Jr. and Ros. N. C. J.: Vetical Flow of Gas and Licwid
Mi.m& in Wells,,, Pro.., SMh Wodd Pi. Cong., Frank~mt
(19S3> 451. . .. 
14. Haged?m, A.R, and Bmym, K. E.: .Experimerdal Study of
PIEssure Gradients OcmnrirIE Dwig CoMin.ous TwoPhase
Flow i. Small Diameter Verdcal Ccmduits,,, J. Pet Tech. (Apdf
1965) 47584.
S1 Metric Conversion Factors
in. x 2.54* E+OO = cm
ft X 3.048* E01 = m
.Conversion factor k exact. m
Original manuscript received in Sociely of Petroleum Engine.m o!hm March 22,
1 S82. Revised ma.uscr;pl received Jan. 21, 19S3. Paw acwted for Pubkaao.
Ocl 8, 1SS2.
JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY
.. .
time. This voltage gain can easily be converted to a liquid holdup fraction
using a linear interpolation over the calibrated values of voltage gain for
zero percent and 100 percent oil in the pipe.
The oil and gas phases were carefully metered before mixing; turbine
meters, orifice meters or rotameters were used depending on the phase and the
flow rates. The twophase mixture flowed through the test sections and i nto a
horizontal separator. The gas (air) was
liquid passed through a filter and into
Kerosene and lube oil were used as
vented to the atmosphere and the
a storage tank.
the liquid phases. The surface
tension, density and viscosity of the kerosene at 60F were 26 dynesjcn,
51 lb#ft3 and 2 cp, respectively. Corresponding values for the lube oil were
35 dynes/cm, 53 lb~ft3 and 29
encountered during the tests.
CP, Temperature between 18 and 132F were
PHASESLIPPAGEANDLIQUID HOLDUP
In inclined twophase pipe flow a substantial part of the total pressure
losses may be contributed by the hydrostatic pressure difference. The relative
contributions of friction gradient and hydrostatic gradient may be dictated by
the prevailing flow patterns, angle of inclination and direction of flow. Many
of the current design procedures used for twophase pipelines fail to account
for these ef}ects with any rigor. Part of the problem Inmost design
procedures is the assumption that the void fraction is a unique function of
quality and physical properties of
homogeneous flow can be assumed or
rates, Similar situations may also
the fluids. This is probably true where
during bubble flow at very low gas flow
arise where the phase velocity is very
high, so that friction pressure drop
the remaining cases errors may arise
between phases. This concept of slip
governs the total pressure loss. But in
due to neglect of the slip velocity
velocity comes fr@m the physical
phenomena called slippage.
The term slippage is used to describe a natural phenomena of one phase
slipping past the other in twophase pipe flow. There are several causes for
slippage between phases. Frictional resistances to flow or irreversible energy
losses in the direction of flow are much less in the gas phase than in the
liquid phase. This makes the gas more transmissible than liquid in twophase
flow, even in the absence of strong buoyancy effects such as in horizontal
flow. This effect can be very pronounced in any segregated flow regime such as
stratified flow. The large difference in compressibilities between gas and
liquid causes the expanding gas to travel at a higher velocity and slip past
the liquid when pressure decreases in the direction of flow. Slippage between
phases is also promoted by the difference in buoyant forces acting on the
phases. In a static liquid medium, less dense gas tends to rise with a
velocity proportional to the density difference. Zukoski
15
studled the effect
of pipe inclination angle on bubble rise velocity in a stagnant liquid. He
concluded that, depending on the pipe diameter, surface tension and viscosity
of fluids may appreciably affectthe bubble rise velocity. His fixidings also
showed that for some conditions an inclination angle as small as one degree
from the horizontal can cause the bubble rise velocity to be more that 1.5
times the value obtained for vertical pipes. This establishes a strong
dependence between inclination angle and phase slippage. In the absence of any
analytical formulation, the phenomenon of slippage caused by bubble rise
velocity is studied empirically.
Greater gravitational f orces on the more dense liquid phase promotes fall
back of liquid when shear forces and buoyant forces fail to support the liquid
in upward flow. For downward flow it causacth liquid to travel faster than
the gas. Thus, while buoyancy always causes the gas phase to rise relative to
the liquid phase, gravity always tends to cause the liquid to fall faster than
the 8as,
A few
Except for
phase pipe
important conclusions can be made from the precedin8 discussion.
houiogeneous flow the presence of slippage between phases in two
flow is unavoidable at any angle of inclination. In both uphill and
downhill bubble or slug flow, when the liquid phase is continuous and is
capable of being supported, buoyant forces generate bubble rise velocity
causing slippage between phases. Near the slug and annularmist flow
transition or when the slug length becomes long (more than about two to three
ft) the phases become discontinuous. During this type of flow, broken liquid
slugs or ripples incapable of bridging the pipe are seen to fall back against
the direction of uphill flow. Very similar flow phenomena occur in downhill
stratified flow when the liquid falls back and accelerates until the liquid
kinetic energy is balanced by the shear Gner8y around the liquid layer, In
stratified flow, large insitu velocities attained by the liquid as a result of
acceleration due to 8ravity normally causes a very small liquid holdup, This
phenomenon is shown in Fig. 3 where in stratified
superficial veloci:y, void fraction rises rapidly
little air flows simultaneously. At higher liqutd
flow, the void fraction builds up more slowly. An
flow at 0.363 ft/sec liquid
to almost 97%when very
velocities in bubble or slug
important deduction at this
point is that in uphill flow, slippage causes liquid velocity to slow down
resulting in a net accumulation of liquid in the flow channel or pipe and
increasing the insitu liquid fraction,
called liquid holdup. In downhill flow
to increase resultlng in a decrease in
The insitu liquid fraction is commonl y
slippage causes insitu liquid velocity
liquid holdv,p. AM these causes of
phase slippa8e and the result$n8 flow patterns will occur as soon as one end
of the pipe i8 raised about one pipe diameter from the other end regardless of
the an81e of inclination. Thus, dependins OR the lmgth of the pipe and
direction of flow, characteristic f l ow patterns or liquid holdup for inclined
flow should be observed even at extremely low angles. For example, at any low
uphill angle, the stratified flow pattern should never be observed.
.
1.0
0,8
006
O*4
0.2
O*O
G
E
G o
G
G
I
I
000
0
lB o
w
3
)
m VSL = 12,041FT/SEC
O VSL =
3,910 FT/SEC
I
G vSL = 0,363 FT/SEC
t
I I
1 1
n mn .
4U
80 100
superficial GASvELOcITY(FT/sEc) ~
120
Fig. 3 Voi d Fraction w v8g at
Different Values of VSL
for 30 Degrees Angle
Development of Liquid Holdup Correlation
Analytical expressions for liquid holdup have been attempted for uphill
twophase S1U8 flow in vertical pipes and for downhill flow at low angles of
,.
Inclination ln,the range of O to 15 degrees. Considering the complex slippage
mechanism, a global liquid holdup model for any pipe inclination has not been
attempted previously.
More than 1500 liquid holdup measurements at uphill and downhill
inclination an81es from 0 to f90 from horizontal were obtained in this
study. Attempts to correlate these data Into a global empirical liquid holdup
correlation are presented below. At each uphill and downhill an81e, void
fraction was plotted as a function of superficial 8ae velocity for fixed
superficial liquid velocity. Each of these plots was continuous within the
error tolerance of the holdup measurements. Example plots are shown tn Fi8s. 4
throu8h 6. At very high 8as rates the curves almost become asymptotic with the
100%void fraction (O%liquid holdup). For downhill stratified flow at very
low8as rates the void fraction rises rapidly and then almost linearly
increases with increased gas rates. However, the void fraction plot for
horizontal flow Is similar to the uphill plot, even in the stratified flow
reeime. The general shapes of these plots prompted selection of a nonlinear
\
regression equation of the f orm,
2
N C5
HL=EXF(Cl+C2 Sin e+C3Sin 0+C4NL) ~.. .o~**. .~C(l)*..C(l)
NLV 6
Subsequently, three liquid holdup correlations were attempted, one for uphill
Gnd horizontal flow and the other two for downhill strat~fied flow and the
other downhill flow patterns. The re8ress&on cwdikients are given In Table
1. The coefficients were obta~ned by using the nonltnuar BIOMED4regression
pro8ramao In each of the regression analysee, the outliers in the res$dual
plot were deleted f romthe data set and the analyees wao repeated.
100
0,8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
+ VSL = 7.325 FT/SEC
G VSL = Oc363FT/SEC
.
x VSL = 0.094 FT/SEC
o 20 40 60 80 100 120
SUPERFICIALGASVELOCITY(FT/SEC) ~
.
.
100
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
I
.
)
m
I VSL = 10,679FT/SEC
G VSL = 0.363FT/SEC
m
x VSL = 0.094FT/SEC
I
i 1 I 1 1
0 20 40 80 80 100 120
superficial GASVELOCITY(FT/sEC) ~
Fig. 6 Void Fraution w Vs g at
Different Values of V~L for
+90 Degrees Angle
~. A
I
I m VSL = 10.679FT/SEC
A VSL = 1.817FT/SEC
G VSL =
0.305 FT/SEC
I I I I I
o 20 40 60 80 100 120
SUPERFICIALGASVELOCITY(FT/SEC)~
Fig. 6 Void Fraction vs
Different Values of
90 Degrees Angle
VW at
vsL for
I I
Table 1
Coefficients of Liquid Holdup Equation
i
I I
I !
Values of Coefficients
Flow Direction Flow Pattern
i
1 1 I 1 B I 1 @ 1
I 1 I IC I 1 I I
1 I Ic
I
lc~cvlc I
1 ! I I I j ~
I ! I I
~ Uphill Flow ~ All ~ 0.380113 ~ 0.129875 ~ 0.119788 ~ 2.343227 ~ 0.475686 ~ 0.288657 I
1 !
1
1
I
I 1 ~ I ~
I
t 1
1
I
Downhill Flow
!
I Stratified
i
 1. 330282 ~ 4.808139
.1 i
~ 4.171584 i 56.262268 ~ 0.079951 i 0.5048W !
I i
~Other ~ 0.51644 ~ 0.789805 ~
~
0.551627 ~ 15.519214 ~ 0.371771 \ 0.393952 I
I i I I I I I

.
The selection of phase velocity numbers as the independent variables
instead of the phase superficial velocities as shown in Figs. 46 was done to
make the variables dimensionless. These numbers were also suggested as
6 9
correlating parameters by Duns and Ros , Hagedorn and Brown , and Eaton
et al. The velocity numbers, together with the inclination angle, also formed
the independent variables defining the flow patterns. Hence, inclusion of all
these variables implicitly makes the holdup correlation flow regime dnpendent.
The use of dimensionless numbers should not affect the shapes of curves shown
.
in Figs. 46 since, for a ~xed oil, converting superficial velocities to
dimensionless
approximately
/
form requ~. _. ~lication by a nearly constant quantity of
2.5 for this study.
Effects of Inclination Angle and Viscosity
The second degree polynomial function of the form Cl + C2 Sin e +C3 Sinz e
was selected by plotting liquid holdups for different angles of inclination at
fixed liquid and gas velocity numbers. This relation was also confirmed by
comparing results of other equation forms in trial runs of the regression
analysis. The best error as indicated by the sum of squares was obtained using
the second degree relation. The equation is also consistent with the Beggs and
Brill discovery that liquid holdup passes through maximums and minimums at
fixed inclination angles of approximately +50 and 50, respectively for
their data. Eq. 1 shows that the liquid holdup should increase as the uphill
angle of inclination increases. fiis fact can be shown graphically by
comparing liquid holdup values obtained from the plots in Figs. 78 where void
fractions are plotted for the same oil at three similar superficial liquid
velocities for horizontal and uphill 30 pipe Inclination.
Intuitively, increased liquid viscosity should increase viscous shear
causing increased liquid holdup irrespective of inclination angle. Positive
coefficients of the liquid viscosity number in all the holdup correlations
support this hypothesis,
1.0
g
.
0.8
006
0.4
0.2
000
.0.094
.
//
,
3.9
7.3
1200
VSL
(FT/SEC)
A 0.094
0 0.363
G 3.9
x 7.3
I 12.0
1 1 I 1 1
0
20 40 60 80 100 120
SUPERFICIALGASVELOCITY(FT/SEC)~
Fig. 7, Figure ShowingVoidFraction w Superficial (3as Velodty
at Fixed Superficial LiquidVelocity for Horizontal Flow
.
o
A
G
i,
VSL
(FT/SEC)
oG 094
3*9
12.0
0 20 40 60 80
100 120
SUPERFICIALGAS VELOCITY(FT/SEC)~
Fig. 8 Figure Showing Void Fraction vs Superficial Gas Velocity at Fixed
Superficial LiquidVelocity for Uphill Flowat 300
In general any force which creates drag on any phase against the
direction of flow tends to increase the insitu fraction of that phase. As a
result, viscous drag on the liquid will always tend to increase the liquid
holdup, irrespective of inclination angle. However, gravity forces on the more
dense phase will tend to increase the holdup of that phase for uphill flow and
decrease it for downhill flow. Similarly, buoyant forces will tend te decrease
void fraction for uphill flow while increasing it for downhill flow.
DISCUSSIONOF RESULTS
The proposed liquid holdup correlation was tested with the observed data
to check the reproducibility of the observed holdup values. For both
experimental oils at different angles of inclination the relative percent
errors were calculated for individual experimental observations. For each
angle and each oil the average percent errors and their standard deviations
were calculated. The data points with more than 30 percent relative percent
error were not used for the calculation of either average percent errors or
the standard deviations. A majority of these data were for liquid hcldups less
than 10 percent or more than 90 percent. In this range of liquid holdup the
capacitance sensor was found to be less accurate and high percent errors in
the measured values were expected. However, for most of these very low or very
high liquid holdup cases, the sensitivity of total pressure loss to the liquid
holdup was greatly reduced.
In the development of these liquid holdup correlations, the BMDPnon
linear re~ression package was used, Thts regression method minimizes the
residual sum of squares to calculate the regression coefficients, The
observations corresponding to the outliers in the res&dual plot we~= c~cludei
in the development of the holdup correlations. Normally, these outliers
indicated erroneous observations, This criterion for culli~ data does not
correspond to minimizing the average percent error. Hence, when these
correlations were applied to the observed data, a further culling of data
based on average percent error was required. Normally, depending on the value
of the absolute relative error, the sensitivity of the holdup measurement
techniques reflests a great deal on the average percent error. For very small
values of observed holdup, even with acceptable absolute error, relative error
may be very large. This is often caused by division of a small quantity in the
calculation of percent error. Values of average percent error and standard
deviations for liquid holdup for each oil at different angles of inclination
are shown in Table 2.
CONCLUSIONS
An empirical model for inclined twophase flow liquid holdup is proposed.
The proposed model enables the determination of liquid holdup irrespective of
the angle of inclination and the direction of flow. The set of holdup
correlations is dependent on the same dimensionless parameters that control
the flow pattern transitions in twophase flow. Except for
flow, the liquid holdup correlations are continuous across
transitions.
downhill stratified
flow pattern
Table 2
Statistical Parameters for Holdup Correlations
Applied to Obeerved Data
oil Angle
i
I &~f /Average
(degrees) ~ , % Error
i I
Standard
i
Deviation
I
~
5
20
:;
!5J
70
80
90
;
20 .
30
50
70
80
90
35
i
I
2.79
48
I
O*O4
57
I
4.71
I
5*49
4; \ 1.96
2.17
I
6; ~ 4.98
2.77
% ~ 2.95
42
/
1.86
40
I
2.44
O*33
:; ~
6.81
31
I
1.71
33
I
5*35
29
1
 os05
29
1
6. 19
13,64
14.25
13040
1.77
12.30
3.16
11.92
13.55
16.80
13.95
13079
25.95
10.73
20.32
18,91
19.89
21.20
I
I
1 G01
:; I
I
15.01
7.52
I
8.22
4.34 13.58
:
I
I
Oe26
I
I
15*43
37 7.15 15.87
NOMENCLATURE
c
L
gv
*Lv
L
Sg
s1
u
P
u
e
empirical constazs
l~quid holdup
gasvelocity number, v
Sg {pL/(gu)}25
liquidvelocity number, v
sl {@@}25
liquid viscosity number, p
L {!j/(pLu3)}*25
superficial gas velocity, ft/sec
superficial liquid velocity, ft/sec
viscosity, Cp
density, lbm/ft3
surface tension,
pipe Inclination
dynes/cm
angle from horizontal
S1 METRICCONVERSION FACTORS
Cp x 1*O* E03 = Pa.S
dyne x 1.0* E02 = mN
F *F
 32)/1.8
= c
ft X 3.048* E01 = m
inx 2.54* E+OO = cm
lbm X 4.535924 E01 = KS
* Conversion factor is exact.
.
1.
2.
3*
4.
50
6.
7.
8.
9.
10*
llQ
Beggs, H.D. and Brill, J.P.: A Study of TwoPhase Flow in Inclined
Pipes, J. Pet. Tech. (May 1973), 607617.
Bonnecaze, R.H., Erskine, W. and Greskovich, E.J.: Holdup and Pressure
Drop for No Phase Slug Flow in Inclined Pipelines, AIChE J. (Sept. 1971)
17, 1109*
Cunliffe, R.S.: Prediction of Condensate Flow Rates in Large Diameter
High Pressure Wet Gas Pipelines, APEAJ. (1978), 171.
Dixon, W.J.: BMDP Biomedical Computer Pro8rams, PSeries, Univ. of
California Press (1977).
Dukler, A.E., Wicks, III, M. and Cleveland, R.G.: Frictional Pressure
Drop in TwoPhase Flow: B. An Approach Throu8h Similarity Analysis,
AIChE J. (Jan. 1964) 10, No. 1.
Duns, H., Jr. and Ros$ N.C.J.: Vertical Flow of Gas and Liquid Mixtures
in Wells, ~roc. 6t~ World Pet. Cong. (1963), 451.
Eaton, B.A., et al: The Prediction of Flow F~ttems, Liquid Holdup and
Prescure Lo.sacs 0ccurrin8 Durin8 Continuous TwoPhase Flow in Horizontal
Pipelines, Trans. AIME, (1967)$ 815.
Guzhov, A.I., Mamaye~?,V*A. and Odishariya, G.E.: A Study of Transport
ation in GasLiquid Systems, 10th Int, Gae Conference, Hamburg, Germany
(1967).
Hagedorn, A.R. and Brown, K.E.: Experimental Study of Pressure Gradients
During Continuous TwoPhase Flow in Small Diameter Vertical Occurring
Conduits, J. Pet. Tech. (April 1965), 475484.
Hu8hmark, G.A, and Pressbur8, B.S.: Holdup and Pressure Drop with Gas
Liquid Flow in a Vertical Pipe, AIChE J. (Dec. 1961) ~, 677.
Mukherjee, H.: An Experimental Study of Inclined TwoPhase Flow, Ph.D.
Dissertation, The Univ. of Tulsa (1979).
12. Palmer, CoM@: Evaluation of Inclined Pipe TwoPhase Liquid Holdup
Correlations Usin8 Experimental Data , M.S. Thesis, The U. of Tu1s8(1975).
13. Singh, G. and Griffith, P.: Determination of Pressure Drop Optimum Pipe
Size for a TwoPhase Slug Flow In an Inclined P$pe, J, Eng. for Ind.
(Nov. 1970), Trans. ASME, 92, 717726.
14. Vohra, I.R., et al: Comparison of Liquid Holdup and FrictionFactor
Correlations for GasLiquid Flow$t, J. Pet. Tech. (May 1975), 564568.
15. Zukoski, E.E.: Influence of V?.scosity, Surface Tension and Inclination
Angle on Motion of Long Bubblas in Closed Tubes, J. Fluid Mech. (1966)
2S, Part 4, 821837.
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