Separator Two-Phase Flow, CFD Simulation ANSYS Fluent Training

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The present problem simulates the collision of air and water flow within a separator chamber using ANSYS Fluent software.

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Separator Project Description

The present problem simulates the collision of air and water flow within a separator chamber using ANSYS Fluent software. In this model, a cylindrical separator chamber is designed whose interior space is full of water.

Water then enters through a vertical pipe from the top of the chamber and exits through a bottom pipe located at the bottom of the chamber; While airflow enters from a horizontal tube on the lateral surface of the chamber and exits through a horizontal tube on the lateral surface of the upper part.

The inlet air to the chamber has a mass flow rate of 0.001 kg.s-1 and the inlet water flow to the chamber has a mass flow rate of 0.1 kg.s-1.

Naturally, the water flow is located in the lower part of the chamber due to being denser and the airflow is located on the top of the water surface. Since there are two phases in this modeling, the multiphase model should be used.

For this reason, the VOF multiphase model is used in this modeling; So the primary phase is defined as water flow and the secondary phase is defined as airflow. Assuming that the water flow in the airflow is formed as a layer or free surface and does not mix with the airflow, the VOF model is the most appropriate model to define the present multiphase flow.

Also, the effect of surface tension between the two phases is defined and the amount of surface tension between the two phases of the water and air is defined as 0.072 N.m-1.

Separator Geometry & Mesh

The present model is designed in three dimensions using Design Modeler software. The model consists of a cylindrical chamber that has two inlet and outlet pipes for water flow vertically and two inlet and outlet pipes for air horizontally.


We carry out the model’s meshing using ANSYS Meshing software, and the mesh type is unstructured. The element number is 972786. The following figure shows the mesh.


Separator CFD Simulation

We consider several assumptions to simulate the present model:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is steady.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is equal to -9.81 m.s-2 along the vertical axis.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Viscous k-epsilon
k-epsilon model standard
near wall treatment standard wall functions
Multiphase Model VOF
number of eulerian phases 2 (water & air)
formulation implicit
interface modeling dispersed
Boundary conditions
Inlet – Gas Mass Flow Inlet
mass flow rate – water 0 kg.s-1
mass flow rate – air 0.001 kg.s-1
Inlet – Liquid Mass Flow Inlet
mass flow rate – water 0.1 kg.s-1
mass flow rate – air 0 kg.s-1
Outlet – Gas Pressure Outlet
gauge pressure 0 pascal
Outlet – Liquid Pressure Outlet
gauge pressure 0 pascal
Walls Wall
wall motion stationary wall
Pressure-Velocity Coupling Coupled
Pressure PRESTO
momentum first order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate first order upwind
volume fraction first order upwind
Initialization methods Standard
gauge pressure 0 Pascal
velocity (x,y,z) 0 m.s-1
air volume fraction 0
water volume fraction 1

Results & Discussions

At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours related to the mixing pressure and mixing velocity and volume fraction of each of the water and air phases are obtained. The images show that the airflow moves upwards because it is lighter and the water flow moves downwards because it is denser.


  1. Avatar Of Adah Reichert

    Adah Reichert

    Can the simulation be adjusted to handle different types of gases and liquids?

    • Avatar Of Mr Cfd Support

      MR CFD Support

      Absolutely! The simulation can be adapted to handle different fluids by changing the properties of the fluids in the simulation setup. This makes it a versatile tool for various applications.

  2. Avatar Of Tristin Dare

    Tristin Dare

    How accurate is the CFD simulation?

    • Avatar Of Mr Cfd Support

      MR CFD Support

      The accuracy of the CFD simulation depends on the quality of the input data and the complexity of the model. However, our simulations are designed to be as accurate as possible, using high-quality meshing techniques and robust numerical methods.

  3. Avatar Of Yasmeen Rath

    Yasmeen Rath

    I’m curious about how the separator chamber works in handling two-phase flow. Could you provide some insight into this?

    • Avatar Of Mr Cfd Support

      MR CFD Support

      The Separator Chamber in this CFD simulation is designed to handle two-phase flow effectively. It separates the liquid and gas phases using their different densities. The fluids enter the chamber, where due to the change in velocity and direction, the heavier phase (usually the liquid) is forced to the walls of the chamber and drops down, while the lighter phase (gas) rises and exits from the top.

  4. Avatar Of Candace D'Amore

    Candace D’Amore

    What are the benefits of using CFD simulation for a separator chamber?

    • Avatar Of Mr Cfd Support

      MR CFD Support

      CFD simulation allows for the detailed analysis of the separator chamber’s performance under various conditions. It provides valuable data on pressure, velocity, and volume fraction of each phase in different parts of the chamber. This can guide the design process, leading to optimized performance and efficiency.

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