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Letters

Letters Comments on: Wax   deposition of Bombay high crude conditions oil under (Received 23 July

Comments

on: Wax

 

deposition

of

Bombay

high

crude

conditions

oil

under

(Received

23 July 1990)

flowing

Dear

Sir

Recently, experimental

results

were

presented for the deposition of solids (waxes) from a waxy crude oil under flowing conditions. The amounts of deposited solids were expressed as the

mass of solids (in grams) collected on the tube surface. Such experimental results can be useful for estimating the extent of solids deposition in a pipeline for transporting waxy crude oils.

Waxy

crude

oils

display

complex

rheology, and at least eight parameters affecting their flow behaviour have been identified’. Of these, the more important

variables are the thermal history (e.g. the initial temperature and the cooling rate) and the shear rate. The experiments had been made at different crude oil temperatures’, but no details concerning the thermal history of crude oil samples used in those tests were provided.

is

attributed to the design of experimental apparatus, which included a short

the

deposition of solids. The hydrodynamic entry length (0 in a circular pipe for attaining fully developed flow of Newtonian fluids under laminar con- ditions (i.e. at Re<2000) is3

(1)

Another

limitation

of the

of tubing

results’

for

(6 mm x 25 cm) piece

< = L/ReD = 0.05

where Re is the Reynolds number, and L

and D are the length and inside diameter (i.d.) of the pipe. Even for the non-Newtonian ‘mildly’ power-law fluids, Equation (1) is found to apply fairly we114. It is evident from Equation (1) that the length of pipe necessary for accomplishing fully developed flow increases with Reynolds number. Thus at Re > 850, the flow in the experiments of Agrawal et al.’ would have been in the developing region throughout the tube. In a full-scale pipeline, on the other hand, the hydrodynamic entry region is negligible when compared with the total pipe length. Although the precise effect of the entrance region flow disturbances on the deposition of solids (waxes) is not known, the laboratory results with a short tube may not be completely valid for the fully developed conditions in a pipeline.

by

Agrawal et al.’ are analysed in this communication. The approach presented

The solid deposition

data

reported

00162361/90/121575~2

,(” 1990

Butterworth-Heinemann

Ltd.

here is completely different from the correlative method adopted by Agrawal et al., who provided a polynominal for the mass of solids in terms of the crude oil flow rate and the oil and coolant temperatures as three independent variables. The present analysis is based on a heat transfer analogy, which involves equating the rate of heat flow from crude oil (by conduction-convection) to that through the solid layer (by conduction) under steady state conditions. A dimensionless parameter @x/k), relating the oil-side heat transfer coefficient (h) to the ratio of thermal conductivity (k) of the deposited solid layer and its thickness (x), is proposed as a scale-up factor. The results of calculations with the data for Bombay high crude oil’ suggest that the parameter (hx/k) is independent of both the temperature differential and the crude

thermal conductivities of the pipe (metal) and the deposited solids, respectively; &, and 4, are the log-mean diameters of the pipe and the deposited solid layer, respectively; and hi is the crude oil heat transfer coefficient based on the solid layer inside diameter Dwi. Of the four individual resistances in Equation (2) the first resistance - on the external surface of the pipe - could be significant in a buried and/or insulated commercial pipeline situation but may be neglected for the concentric-tubes arrangement used in the laboratory experiments’ (with forced convection in the coolant stream). Also, the second resistance due to the metal wall is usually negligibly small. By neglecting these two resistances, Equation (2) in a simplified form is

oil flow rate.

l/U = xD/&k

+ D/D,&

 

(3)

where

x

and

k

are

the

thickness

and

MODEL DEVELOPMENT

thermal

conductivity

 

of

the

deposited

solid layer, &

is the log-mean

diameter

The rate of heat loss from waxy crude oil

of the solid

layer,

D,

(I

D-2x)

is the

flowing through a pipe is governed by the

interface diameter,

and

h is the crude

oil

sum of four individual resistances in series

heat

transfer

coefficient.

Next,

the

l/U = DJD,h, + x,,,D/&,k,

+ x,DldLwkw + DIDwihi

(2)

where

coefftcient based on the pipe i.d. (D); D,

and h, are the outside

transfer

and

and

U

xw,

is

the

overall

heat

transfer

and heat

k,

diameter

coefftcient,

k,

are

respectively;

x,,

the

thicknesses

following expression

is obtained

from the

equality

of heat

flux

(dq/d&)

for

the

overall

and individual

resistances:

 

dq/d&=

U(T,-

T,)=(k/x)(T,-

T,)

= W,l&)K

-

7;)

(4)

where T,, T, and T, are the temperatures of crude oil, the solid-liquid interface and

Table

Flow

rate

(1 h-‘)

180

60

180

60

180

60

180

60

193

41

120

120

120

120

120

137

50

193

193

“Data

1

Results

for

wax

deposition

of Bombay

high

crude

oil

under

different

conditions

 

_--

 

Temperature

 

Oil

Coolant

 

differential,

Solid

layer

 

temperature,

T,

temperature,

T,

K---T,

thickness,

x

Parameter

(“C)”

(“C)

(“C)

(mm)

VW)

 

30.0

20.0

0.739

0.061

30.0

20.0

0.817

0.062

30.0

5.0

0.093

0.254

 

35.0

30.0

5.0

0.097

0.254

50.0

25.0

25.0

1.117

0.402

50.0

25.0

25.0

0.903

 

0.380

35.0

25.0

10.0

0.455

1.631

35.0

25.0

10.0

I .053

1.876

42.5

27.5

15.0

0.134

 

0.311

42.5

21.5

15.0

0.316

0.322

51.6

21.5

24.1

0.588

0.190

33.4

27.5

5.9

0.354

1.554

42.5

30.5

12.0

0.923

0.053

42.5

24.5

18.0

1.566

0.836

42.5

27.5

15.0

0.619

 

0.342

55.4

28.0

27.4

0.817

0.145

50.0

25.0

25.0

0.815

0.372

50.0

25.0

25.0

0.927

0.382

50.0

25.5

24.5

0.683

0.330

from

Ref.

1

 

FUEL,

1990,

Vol

69,

December

1575

Letters

 

Oil Flow

Rate,

L

h-l

,.,;1

5,o

100

~

150

0.0

D

0

scatter,

the

layer

thickness

 

(x)

is seen

to

increase

somewhat

with

the

temperature

differential

(T,-

T,)

but

an

effect

of

oil

flow

rate

is not

evident

in

Figure

1.

Estimation

perature

of solid-liquid interface

(T,)

tem-

As mentioned

previously,

T, is

at

the

interface

between

temperature

the

flowing

(liquid)

crude

oil and

the

deposited

solid

layer.

In

a

situation

involving

solidifi-

cation

or melting

of pure

substances,

for

example,

this

temperature

will

be

the

freezing

or

melting

point.

However,

the

interface

temperature

for waxy

crude

oils

Y

_

 

Oil

Flow

Rate,

L

h-l

50

100

150

2.0°

 

0

1.5.

(a)

0

1.0.

 

0

0.5

 

0

I

0.0

n

 

0

TemperotuE

Differentia12(Yo-T,),

‘7

0

200

I

I

LP

0 0

OC

J

 

0

30

may

not

be one

single

temperature

but

a

 

TemperdeD

DifferentioI2(?,-T,),

OC

range

of temperatures,

due to the variety

Figure

1

Variation

of solid

layer thickness

of hydrocarbons

 

present.

To simplify

the

with:

a, crude

oil flow rate;

b, temperature

calculations

for

waxy

crude

oils,

T,

differential.

Data from

Ref.

1

 

could

be

approximated

as

the

lowest

 

temperature

at which

the crude

oil would

still

be

fluid,

i.e.

a

temperature

slightly

the

surroundings

(coolant),

respectively;

 

higher

Bombay

than

the pour

point

high

crude

of 30°C for the

the

For

oil’.

and

q is

the

rate

of heat

loss from

the

oil

   

to

the

surroundings

(the

coolant).

With

calculation

assumed

to

results

presented

be 31°C.

here,

T, was

D,_= 2x[ln(D/(D

-

2x))] _ i, Equation

(4)

   

is rearranged

into

the

following

dimen-

 

sionless

form

Prediction of parameter (hx/k) for Bombay high crude oil

 

The

values

of

the

dimensionless

 

parameter

(hx/k)

were

calculated

from

Equation

(5) and

are

listed

in

Table 1.

DISCUSSION

OF

RESULTS

 

The results

are plotted

in Figure 2 against

the

oil

flow

rate

(in

1h-‘)

and

Calculations

oil

model,

with the Bombay

made

using

data’

were and the results

the

are summarized

high crude

above

differential

for three high values corresponding

temperature

(T, -

T,). Except

to

 

in

some of the experiments

with

low

crude

Table 1.

Determination

of

deposited

solid

layer

thickness (x)

The

data

for

the

mass

of

deposited

solids’

were

used

to

calculate

the

equivalent

solid

layer

thickness

(x) using

the

following

material

balance

equation

x=O.S(D-/~~)

 

(6)

where

m is

the

mass

of solid

deposited,

D and

L are

the id.

(0.006 m)

and

length

oil temperatures,

the results

do not

show

any

noticeable

or

consistent

trend

for

(hx/k)

in

either

case.

That

is,

the

parameter

(hx/k)

is

observed

to

be

independent

of both

the oil flow

rate

and

the

temperature

differential.

This

is

an

important

observation

that

should

be

useful

for

estimating

the

solid

layer

thickness

in a pipeline.

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

By ignoring

the three

high

results

at low

crude

oil temperatures,

 

the

average

value

(0.25 m) of the tube’,

and

p is the average

of

the

parameter

(hx/k)

from

16

data

density

of deposited

solids

(assumed5

to

points

was calculated

as 0.29+0.19.

It

is

be

850 kg mm3).

The

calculated

solid

emphasized

that

this

average

numerical

30

Figure

2

Calculation

results

for

the

parameter

(hx/k) with:

a, crude

oil flow

rate;

b, temperature

differential

Additional

experimental

measurements

on

other

waxy

crude

oil

samples,

performed

with

a

longer

tube

to

avoid

entry

region

effects,

will

be

useful

for

obtaining

a

more

reliable

estimate

for

(hx/k).

Nonetheless,

it

is shown

that

an

estimate

of

solid

deposition

for

waxy

crude

and a knowledge

can

calculation

find applications

operation

oils could

be obtained

of k and h (both

from

(hx/k)

of which

The

here may

be

measured

approach

or

predicted).

presented

in

the

design

and/or

of pipelines for waxy crude oils.

 

Anil

K.

Mehrotra

Department

of Chemical

and

Petroleum

Engineering,

The

University

of Calgary,

Calgary,

Alberta,

Canada

T2N

IN4

REFERENCES

Agrawal,

K. M.,

Khan,

H.

U.,

Surianara-

yanan,

M. and

Joshi,

G. C. Fuel 1990,69,

794

Cawkwell,

M.

G.

and

Charles,

M.

E.

Journal of Pipelines1989, I, 251

 

Kays,

W.

M.

and

Crawford,

M.

E.

in

‘Convective

Heat

and

Mass

Transfer’,

2nd

edition,

McGraw-Hill,

1980,

p.

68

Mehrotra,

A.

K.

and

Patience,

G. S. Can.

J. Chem. Eng. 1990, 68(4), 529

Agarwal,

K.

M.,

Purohit,

R.

C.,

M.

et

al.

Fuel

1989,

68,

layer thicknesses

for

the

19 experiments

result

is for a specific

set of experimental

 

Surianarayanan,

are

plotted

in

Figure

1.

Despite

the

measurements

on

one

waxy

crude

oil.

937

1576

FUEL,

1990,

Vol

69,

December