Forecasting a bubbly-intermittent flow regime transition in helically coiled tubes

E. Meretskaya, D. Eskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simulations of gas–liquid turbulent flows in helically coiled tubes are conducted by a two-fluid hydrodynamic model coupled with the population balance equation. A model of bubble breakup in a turbulent flow, recently developed by the authors, is incorporated into the ANSYS Fluent CFD code employed as a computational tool. The population balance equation is solved by a discrete method. A realizable k-epsilon turbulence model is used for all computations. Numerous simulations of gas-liquid flows in vertically oriented coiled tubes are conducted. Three different coil diameters are employed for simulations. Computed bubble chord distributions are close to experimental data. Simulated dependencies of the superficial liquid velocity on the superficial gas velocity, corresponding the bubbly-intermittent flow regime transition, are in excelled agreement with measured ones. On the other hand, dependencies, obtained using standard bubble breakup models, significantly deviate from experimental results. Thus, it is demonstrated that employment of the novel bubble breakup model greatly enhances a computational accuracy of gas-liquid flows in helically coiled tubes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-249
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Bubbles
  • CFD
  • Flow regime transition modeling
  • Intermittent flow
  • Turbulence


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