TPG-5 Pressure Drop and Heat Transfer for Tubeside Bitumen-Water Froth

J. W. Palen

This report brings together data and methods for pressure drop and heat transfer that can be used in HTRI Xchanger Suite® to provide more economical heat exchangers for hydrocarbon-water mixtures such as those typically found in tar sands processing.

The third in a series on slurries and immiscible mixtures, this study applies modified methods to the general case of a very viscous core fluid (bitumen or petroleum tar) surrounded by a much lighter carrier fluid (water) in contact with the wall. The available data for tubeside flow were predicted well by a homogeneous method for pressure drop using an empirical mixture viscosity that includes a strong increase in viscosity and the non-Newtonian effect for low water concentrations.

For the system investigated, a fouling deposit of the heavy material on the surface strongly affects heat transfer, for which a homogeneous model is also used. The deposit thickness is a function of water content and velocity. Based on the small amount of data observed, HTRI proposes a tentative correlation for fouling resistance.

This report also includes a field case that demonstrates extending the proposed method to shellside flow.