Air-lift pumps characteristics under two-phase flow conditions

International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow (Impact Factor: 1.6). 02/2009; 30(1):88-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheatfluidflow.2008.09.002


Air-lift pumps are finding increasing use where pump reliability and low maintenance are required, where corrosive, abrasive, or radioactive fluids in nuclear applications must be handled and when a compressed air is readily available as a source of a renewable energy for water pumping applications. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the performance of a pump under predetermined operating conditions and to optimize the related parameters. For this purpose, an air-lift pump was designed and tested. Experiments were performed for nine submergence ratios, and three risers of different lengths with different air injection pressures. Moreover, the pump was tested under different two-phase flow patterns. A theoretical model is proposed in this study taking into account the flow patterns at the best efficiency range where the pump is operated. The present results showed that the pump capacity and efficiency are functions of the air mass flow rate, submergence ratio, and riser pipe length. The best efficiency range of the air-lift pumps operation was found to be in the slug and slug-churn flow regimes. The proposed model has been compared with experimental data and the most cited models available. The proposed model is in good agreement with experimental results and found to predict the liquid volumetric flux for different flow patterns including bubbly, slug and churn flow patterns.

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    • "A conceptual air-lift pump as a device for upwelling deep ocean water was proposed, by means of compressed air introduced into the upper end of the vertical pipe, which was totally submerged in the seawater. It was estimated that the seawater flow rate ratio could be hundred times higher when compared to the air flow rate [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]. Fig. 4 shows the schematic diagram of the experimental set-up with air-lift pumping system developed by Zhejiang University in 2011 [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Wave energy is being increasingly regarded as a major and promising resource since the artificial upwelling was invented. There are many different ways to convert wave energy to electricity and some other energy such as the power supply for artificial upwelling in this paper. An overview of wave energy converters in artificial upwelling application as well as the power systems and environmental energy conversions for the artificial upwelling all over the world is given in this article. Some basic principles are present, assessment and advices are shown for each category. Some suggestions of the outlook of power systems and wave energy converters in air-lift artificial upwelling application are also given.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016 · Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
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    • "The kinematic viscosities for air and water are 1.655 Â 10 –5 m 2 /s and 0.895 Â 10 À6 m 2 /s, respectively . The experimental study of Kassab et al. [6] "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigates a hierarchy of models for predicting the performance of air-lift pumps. Investigated models range from simplified one-dimensional analytical models to large eddy simulation (LES). Numerical results from LES and from two differ-ent analytical models are validated against experimental data available from the air-lift pump research program at Alexandria University. Present LES employs the volume of fluid (VOF) method to model the multiphase flow in the riser pipe. In general, LES is shown to provide fairly accurate predictions for the air-lift pump performance. Moreover, numerical flow patterns in the riser pipe are in good qualitative and quantitative agree-ment with their corresponding experimental patterns and with flow pattern maps avail-able in the literature. On the other hand, analytical models are shown to provide results that are of surprisingly comparable accuracy to LES in terms of predicting the pump per-formance curve. However, due to the steady one-dimensional nature of these models, they are incapable of providing information about the different flow patterns developing in the riser pipe and the transient nature of the pumping process. [DOI: 10.1115/1.4027473]
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Fluids Engineering
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    • "They found that lifting efficiency increases with the increase of the pipe diameter due to the reduction of the influence of wall friction on the flow. Kassab et al. (2009) evaluated the performance of an airlift pump under predetermined operating conditions and optimized the related parameters. In this work, pump was tested under different two-phase flow patterns. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using Gas-liquid lifting pumps is a quite different technology for pumping two or three phase flows rather than other types of pumping systems. Therefore, finding performance characteristic chart for this type of pumping system seems to be necessary. In this type of pumping system, the liquid phase is pushed upward by the compressed air which has been injected in the bottom of upriser pipe of the pump. Therefore, compressed air acts as the driving force in gas lifting pumps instead of moving parts in ordinary pumps. It can be concluded that the definition of characteristic curve used for ordinary pump is not very appropriate for this type of pumping system. In this study, it has been attempted to propose a new definition of performance characteristic for a gas-liquid lifting pump. The definition is based on the actual physical behavior of the pump and the measured experimental data during its operation. The experimental data have been collected from a gas lifting pump with the height and diameter of 6 and 0.05 m, respectively. It seems better to define a dimensionless number as the head of the pump to be more appropriate for its application. Hence, several charts have been prepared according to the collected data and the best definition for performance characteristic has been suggested. Also, the effect of important parameters such as superficial slip ratio, submergence ratio and two phase flow regimes are investigated on the pump performance.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
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