Up-Scaling Studies

Current Projects

One of the most critical issues faced in multiphase flow technology development is scaling up small diameter and low-pressure results to large diameter and high-pressure conditions.  The main objective of this study is to investigate the effect of pipe diameter and pressures on flow behavior using the 6-in ID high-pressure flow loop.

Effect of Pressure on the Evolution of Intermittent Flow in a Slightly Inclined Pipe

This study investigates the evolution of intermittent structures such as slug and pseudo-slug flow in a long upward inclined pipe of large diameter at different operating pressures.  This effort's results are beneficial in improving intermittent flow characterization and predictions.  The data generated can also test several specialty models, such as slug tracking and slug capture.

Wave Characteristics and Entrainment Analysis

The mechanistic models for pressure gradient and holdup are primarily sensitive to the entrainment fraction correlations for multiphase flow.  Moreover, it is essential for flow rate estimation with flow meters, separation facilities design and optimization, and top-of-the-line corrosion inhibition in wet gas condensate lines.  It has been demonstrated in the TUVIP project that the entrainment fraction plays a crucial role in the model performance for large-diameter conditions.

The objective is to investigate the interaction between the wave characteristics for stratified-wavy and annular-wavy flows and the entrainment characteristics, such as the onset of entrainment and the entrainment fraction and droplet size distributions.

A Comprehensive Study on Liquid Entrainment

The main objective is to improve the prediction of entrainment fractions.  Some specific goals are:

  • Experimentally investigate the liquid entrainment phenomenon.

  • Develop a liquid entrainment database based on the acquired and published data.

  • Evaluate existing models and correlations with the liquid entrainment database.

  • Develop a universal model or correlation

Unified Mechanistic Model Studies

TUFFP had developed a unified mechanistic model for multiphase flow prediction in the pipe. The model improvement is a continuous effort supported by acquiring new experimental data through the different projects in the consortium. New models and features are also continuously implemented based on members' requirements. There are three main activities in this area of research.

Software Development and Maintenance

TUFFP Unified model is continuously maintained and improved.  

Tulsa Unified Model Verification and Improvement Project (TUVIP)

The unified model performance can be significantly improved with the availability of large and diverse databases.  TUFFP has embarked on a systematic improvement effort.  A by-product of this effort is identifying the areas requiring improvement in multiphase flow.

Two-Phase Flow-Induced Forces

Internal two-phase flow-induced forces impact the integrity and reliability of pipe systems in a wide range of applications, such as oil and gas production, processing, and transportation.  Thus, investigating and developing tools for predicting and remediating such undesirable phenomena is vital to secure safe and continuous operation.

Two-Phase Flow-Induced Forces on Pipe Fittings

This project investigates the flow-induced forces and fluid-structure interaction related to two-phase flow passing through pipe fittings (elbow) and piping systems.  The project involves an experimental investigation and development of a flow-induced force model.

Two-Phase Flow-Induced Vibration in Pipes

Flow patterns in two-phase flow result in momentum and mass temporal variation (Miwa et al. (2015)).  These variations induce alternate forces in the piping structures that can shorten the system's life.  Therefore, two-phase flow piping stress analysis requires considering static forces and the fluctuations caused by the coherent structures.


This project investigates the effect of local flow fluctuations on pipe deformations.  The experimental part of the research is conducted in the existing 6-in.  ID facility using a pin and spring support system.  Slug, pseudo-slug, wave characteristics along the test section, and pipe deflections are measured.  The performance of the existing pipe stress analysis software is evaluated.

Multiphase Flow Studies

This area of research corresponds to diverse multiphase projects specifically designed to solve a particular industrial problem.

Mitigation of Corrosion in Stratified Water-Oil-Gas Multiphase Flow 

This project is conducted through three consecutive phases for three different pipe configurations: horizontal, upward inclined, and downward inclined.  Horizontal flow results were presented during the last ABM.  The investigation of the upward inclination angle is currently underway.  Finally, the downward flow will be studied after the upward flow.

Maldistribution of Two-Phase Flow in Manifolds and T-Junctions

Maldistribution of multiphase flow in splitting Ts and manifolds is a well-known problem in multiphase flow.  It can occur in different processes and applications, from cooling to large oil and gas transportation systems. 

The objectives of this study are twofold:

  • Better understand/quantify the upstream and downstream conditions that promote uneven split and maldistribution of oil/water/gas mixture at a manifold or T-junction

  • Evaluate and develop representative correlation(s) or models that quantify the severity of the maldistribution and predict the distribution ratio.

Implementation and Validation of a Transient Drift-Flux Model for Pig and Plunger Lift Simulations

This study is a collaborative effort with UFRJ in Brazil.  The main objective of this project is to numerically model oil and gas field operations that involve the passage of a free piston through a two-phase flow line.  These operations include but are not limited to using pigs and conventional plunger operations.  The specific objective is to develop the transient two-phase flow code that interfaces with the piston model.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

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Characterization of Downward Two-Phase Flow

Downward two-phase flow is relevant for the downward inclination of transport lines and injection wells in CO2 capture and storage or EOR.  Downward two-phase flow is one of the least studied areas of multiphase flow.  Therefore, predicting the flow behavior of the downward two-phase in the downward direction is critical.

Methane Emission Reduction

This area of research is dedicated to solving problems related to methane emissions detection, quantification, and remediation.

Hydrogen Transportation, Storage, and Recovery

This area of research investigates different aspects of hydrogen storage and transportation.