Comprehensive Evaluation of Gas-Liquid Cyclonic Separation Technologies

Yessica Arellano, Adriana Brito, Jorge Trujillo, Ramon Cabello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


PDVSA-Intevep has developed a portfolio of technologies for gas–liquid phase separation based on centrifugal forces effects on fluids of different densities. Research has been focused on both separation technologies cylindrical–conical cyclonic (CYCINT\(^{{\circledR }}\)) and multiple cylindrical cyclones (\(\mathrm{{CIMCI}}^{{\circledR }}\)), contemplating numerical modeling, construction, and extensive experimental tests conducted for a wide range of inflow rates and multiphase mixture properties (Brito et al. 2001, 2003, 2009; González et al. 2002; Martínez 2002; Carrasco 2008; Matson and Brito 2008; Cáliz et al. 2009; Valdez et al. 2009; Martínez 2010). Cyclonic separators are centrifugal technologies whose geometry construction promotes rotational flow within them. Centrifugal forces generated inside the separators conduct the fluid to follow a spiral trajectory with the heavier phase forced to flow nearby the separator walls, whilst the lighter phase is directed to the centre of the equipment ascending to the top of the device. This paper presents a comprehensive quantitative evaluation methodology based on a thorough parametric matrix developed to screen the most promising technologies based on experimental essays results. As a consequence, an optimal allocation of resources will allow further development of the top ranked technologies to conduct further field tests. The processing of experimental data from laboratory tests conducted on cyclonic technologies comprises parameters of great interest for the purpose of this evaluation. Gas carry under, liquid carry over, pressure loss, and generated G forces, in hand with liquid level control strategies, operational envelope width, operability, and compact design are some of the parameters used for the evaluation of technologies considered in this study. The evaluation of parameters was conducted through group categorization followed by variables grading on a 0–8 scale by means of a binary comparison methodology. The evaluation of technologies was conducted based on the results obtained during experimental tests and further analysis. As a result, an unbiased technology ranking was obtained, in which the multi-cylindrical technology (\(\mathrm{{CIMCI}}^{{\circledR }}\)) provides an overall best performance with emphasis in a superior gas separation efficiency and easier constructability, whilst the cylindrical-conic cyclonic technology (CYCINT\(^{{\circledR }}\)), on the other hand, presented the upmost liquid separation efficiency and wider operational envelope. Further efforts will focus on continuous development of these two technologies to provide more compact, efficient, and economical gas–liquid separation solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational and Experimental Fluid Mechanics with Applications to Physics, Engineering and the Environment
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-00191-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-00190-6, 978-3-319-34366-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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