Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering - (Ph.D.)
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
I. Joga Rao
Subsurface oil release is commonly encountered in the natural environment and engineering applications and has received the substantial attention of researchers after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon Blowout oil spill in 2009. The main focus on the present research is to systematically study the hydrodynamics of underwater oil jet under a variety of conditions, including the effect of dispersant and different gas to oil ratios (GOR) by using experimental measurement as well as a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach, from which the measured turbulent characteristics (e.g., velocity, turbulent kinetic energy, turbulence dissipation rate, etc.) of underwater oil jet are thoroughly examined and compared. A Lagrangian Particle Tracking Model that coupled with CFD data is used to simulate the trajectories and movement of individual oil droplets under the effect of turbulence and comprehensive physical forces. The trajectories of oil droplets can be very different depending on the droplet diameter and physical force condition, which may bring insight into understanding the fate of oil droplets after the oil release. Large Eddy Simulation (LES) suggests that the oil and gas jet in the Deepwater Horizon Blowout can be churn rather than bubbly, which provides new perspectives on the estimation of the total oil flow rate during the blowout as well as the evaluation of dispersant effectiveness. Furthermore, a laboratory scale multiphase jet experiment by using Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) as well as CFD simulation is conducted to understand and compare the hydrodynamics between the bubbly and churn jets, which shows that the churn jet may result in more entrainment from the ambient environment compared with the bubbly jet.
Gao, Feng, "Experimental and numerical characterization of multiphase subsurface oil release" (2018). Dissertations. 1649.
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