Effect of pipe inclination on holdups/velocity ratios of oil-water flow without and with addition of drag-reducing polymer

A. Abubakar, T. Al-Wahaibi*, A. R. Al-Hashmi, Y. Al-Wahaibi, A. Al-Ajmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In petroleum industries, the demand for effective design and operation of the oil-water transport systems is very high, and holdup of each phase is one of the important hydrodynamic parameters needed for such design and operation. This parameter can be affected by several factors one of which is the presence of the drag-reducing polymers in the oil-water flow. Therefore, the focus of this experimental study is on the effect of the drag-reducing polymer on the holdups and by extension, velocity ratios of the oil-water flow. Specifically, the investigation of the holdups and velocity ratios of the oil-water flow before and after the addition of the drag-reducing polymer was carried out in horizontal (0) and different inclined (−5, +5 and +10) acrylic pipe with 30.6-mm ID. The investigation was conducted using flow conditions of 0.4, 0.8 and 1.6 m/s mixture velocities and 0.1–0.9 input oil volume fractions at each inclination. In each experimental run, the holdup of each phase was measured after steady flow was achieved using quick closing valves. Thereafter, the master solution of the polymer which was prepared at 2000 ppm water was injected at controlled flow rates to provide 40 ppm of the polymer in the water phase and the measurement was repeated. It was found generally that the water holdups and hence, the velocity ratios were increased after the addition of the polymer particularly in water-dominated flow regions. The velocity ratios also increased with the increase in the mixture velocities at these same flow regions. Finally, water was found to flow faster for separated flow at 0.4 m/s while for the dispersed flow regions at higher mixture velocities, the dispersed phase was in general the faster flowing phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-374
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Drag-reducing polymer
  • Holdups
  • Oil-water
  • Slip ratios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of pipe inclination on holdups/velocity ratios of oil-water flow without and with addition of drag-reducing polymer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this