Gas Liquid Separator CFD Simulation, ANSYS Fluent Training

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In this analysis, the process of separating the liquid phase from the gas is using a horizontal cylindrical separator is investigated.

This ANSYS Fluent project includes CFD simulation files and a training movie.

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A gas liquid separator is a device used in several industrial applications to separate a vapor-liquid mixture. A vapor-liquid separator may also be referred to as a flash drum, break-pot, knock-out drum, or knock-out pot. When used to remove suspended water droplets from streams of air, it is often called a demister. Separation is the process by which mixtures of materials in gaseous, liquid, and solid forms are separated. The crude gas entering the refinery usually contains gas, oil, and solids and must be separated before being subjected to special operations. Oil and gas separators are the main groups of gas / liquid separators that are used especially in oil/gas wells to separate gas, crude oil, and water from the well stream. Gas oil separators can be made vertically or horizontally or spherically, but the most common type is horizontal.

Gas Liquid Separator Project Description

In this analysis, the process of separating the liquid phase from the gas is using a horizontal cylindrical separator is investigated. The realizable k-epsilon model is used for solving turbulent flow equations. Also, multi phase VOF model is activated to simulate two phases of oil and hydrogen sulfide inside the separator. The mixture of oil and gas (with mass flow rates of 3kg/s and 0.15kg/s respectively) enters the separator and since the oil is heavier than the gas it settles down while the gas phase exits from the top outlet.

Gas Liquid Separator Geometry & Mesh

The geometry of this project is designed in ANSYS design modeler and meshed inside ANSYS meshing software. The mesh type used for this geometry is unstructured and the total number of elements is 356230.

gas liquid separator gas liquid separator

Gas Liquid Separator CFD Simulation Settings

The key assumptions considered in this project are:

  • Simulation uses pressure-based solver.
  • The present simulation and its results are steady and do not change as a function time.
  • we consider the effect of gravity equal to -9.81 in Y direction.

The applied settings are recapitulated in the following table.

Viscous model k-epsilon
k-epsilon model realizable
near wall treatment standard wall function
Multi phase VOF
Interface modeling Dispersed
Primary phase Gas (Hydrogen sulfide)
Secondary phase Oil
Boundary conditions
Inlet Mass flow inlet
Gas Mass flow rate 0.15 kg/s
oil Mass flow rate 3 kg/s
Outlets Pressure outlet
wall motion stationary wall
Solution Methods
Pressure-velocity coupling   Coupled
Spatial discretization pressure PRESTO!
momentum second order upwind
Volume fraction QUICK
turbulent kinetic energy second order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate second order upwind
(gas liquid separator) Initialization
Initialization method   Standard
gauge pressure 0 Pa
velocity (x,y,z) (0,0-0.8951891,) m/s-1
Turbulent kinetic energy 0.003005114 m2/s2
Turbulent dissipation rate 0.4094975 m2/s3
Oil volume fraction 1


We present different contours of velocity, pressure, oil volume fraction, etc. in 3D and 2D.

All files, including Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, are available in Simulation File. By the way, Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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