Simulation of Drag Reducer Polymer (DRP) for Single and Annular Two Phase Flow in Horizontal Pipe

Cindy Dianita, Asep Handaya Saputra, Puteri Amelia Khairunissa


Drag reducing polymers (DRP) is one of drag reducer types that is widely used in industry as an additive to improve fluid flow efficiency in pipes. This study is conducted to analyze the parameters that influence the efficiency of DRP through developing equation model, and to see the phenomenon of drag reduction that occurs in fluid flow through computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation. The data used are obtained from experiments by Vancko (1997) for a single phase flow of water. As for two-phase annular flow, four experiments data are used namely by Vancko (1997), Al-Sarkhi and Hanratty (2001a,b) and Fernandes et al. (2004). Parameters such as fluid velocity and pipe diameter are analyzed based on the model equations proposed in this study. The final single phase flow equation model as the output of this study gives a value for onset drag reduction i.e 4.00 with an error up to 18%. While the proposed annular flow equation with and without drag reduction effect is only suitable when the condition of fluid film distribution is uniform and symmetrical with the error around 20%, i.e. for smaller diameter pipes. The CFD simulation results shows a change in the fluid velocity profile; becoming more parabolic, indicating an increase in the mean fluid velocity up to 0.43%, as the effect of DRP.


single-phase flow;two-phase flow;annular;horizontal;drag reducing polymers

Full Text:



Abdulbari, H.A., Shabirin, A., Abdurrahman, H.N. (2014) Bio-polymers for improving liquid flow in pipelines—A review and future work opportunities, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 20, 1157 - 1170.

Abo El-Azm, M.M., Kassab, S.Z., Elshafie, S.A. (2014) Experimental and Numerical Study for Turbulent Flow Drag Reduction in District Cooling Systems. CFD Letters, 6, 113-125.

Abubakar, A., Al-Hashmi, A.R., Al-Wahaibi, T., Al-Wahaibi, Y., Al-Ajmi, A., Eshrati, M. (2015b) Performance of a drag-reducing polymer in horizontal and downward-inclined oil–water flow, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 104, 237-246.

Abubakar, A., Al-Wahaibi, T., Al-Hashmi, A., Al-Ajmi, A. (2014) Review: Roles of drag reducing polymers in single- and multi-phase flows, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 92, 2153-2181.

Abubakar, A., Al-Wahaibi, T., Al-Hashmi, A.R., Al-Wahaibi, Y., Al-Ajmi, A., Eshrati, M. (2015a) Influence of Drag-Reducing Polymer on Flow Patterns, Drag Reduction and Slip Velocity Ratio of Oil–Water Flow in Horizontal Pipe., International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 73, 1-10.

Abubakar, A., Al-Wahaibi, Y., Al-Wahaibi, T., Al-Hashmi, A., Al-Ajmi, A., Eshrati, M. (2016) Effect of water-soluble drag-reducing polymer on flow patterns and pressure gradients of oil/water flow in horizontal and upward-inclined pipes, SPE Journal, 22, 1-14.

Al-Amri, N., Al-Khaldi, R., Al-Qahtani, H. B., Al-Amoudi, M. (2014) Multiphase drag reducing agents to increase GOSP production in offshore Saudi Aramco: field applications, Proceeding of The International Petroleum Technology Conference, Doha, 20-22 January, 1-6.

Al-Kayiem, H., Khan, J. (2016). CFD simulation of drag reduction in pipe flow by turbulence energy promoters. ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 11, 14219-14224.

Al-Sarkhi, A., Hanratty, T. J. (2001a) Effect of drag-reducing polymers on annular gas–liquid flow in a horizontal pipe. International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 27, 1151–1162.

Al-Sarkhi, A., Hanratty, T. J. (2001b) Effect of pipe diameter on the performance of drag-reducing polymers in annular gas–liquid flows. Trans IChemE - Institution of Chemical Engineers , 79 (Part A), 402-408.

Al-Yaari, M., Al-Sarkhi, A., Hussein, I.A., Abu Sharkh, B. (2013) Effect of drag reducing polymers on surfactant-stabilized water–oil emulsions flow, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 51, 319-331.

Edomwonyi-Otu, L. (2015) Drag reduction in oil-water flows, PhD Thesis, University College London, United Kingdom.

Edomwonyi-Otu, L., Barral, A., Angeli, P. (2013) Influence of drag reducing agents on interfacial wave characteristics in horizontal oil–water flow, Proceeding of 16th International Conference on Multiphase Production Technology, Cannes, 12-14 June, 353-362.

Fernandes, R. L., Jutte, B. M., Rodriguez, M. G. (2004) Drag reduction in horizontal annular two-phase flow, International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 30, 1051-1069.

Hassanean, M. H., Awad, M. E., Marwan, H. M., Bhran, A. A., & Kaoud, M. (2016) Studying the rheological properties and the influence of drag reduction on a waxy crude oil in pipeline flow. Egyptian Journal of Petroleum, 25, 39-44.

Karami, H., Mowla, D. (2013). A general model for predicting drag reduction in crude oil pipelines, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 11, 78-86.

Li Liu, Bofeng Bai (2017) Generalization of droplet entrainment rate correlation for annular flow, Chemical Engineering Science 164, 279-291.

Strelnikova, S., Michkova, D. (2013) Mathematical modeling of fluid motion in pipelines using drag reducing agents, Proceeding of PSIG Annual Meeting, Prague, 16-19 April, 1-12.

Vancko, R. M. (1997) Effect of a drag reducing agent on pressure drop and flow regime transitions in multiphase horizontal low pressure pipelines, Master's Thesis, Ohio University, Athens.

Vejahati, F. (2014) A conceptual framework for predicting the effectiveness of a drag reducing agent in liquid pipelines, Proceeding of PSIG Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 6-9 May, 1-5.



Copyright (c) 2018 Cindy Dianita, Asep Handaya Saputra, Puteri Amelia Khairunissa

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Jurusan Teknik Kimia Universitas Syiah Kuala, Jl. Tgk. Syech Abdur Rauf No.7, Kopelma Darussalam, Banda Aceh, INDONESIA



Nasrul Arahman, Prof. Dr. S.T., M.T.
Phone: +62813-6092-7917



Mirna Rahmah Lubis
Wahyu Rinaldi, ST, M.Sc.