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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2014, Article ID 542343, 11 pages
Research Article

Numerical Investigation of Gas Mixture Length of Nitrogen Replacement in Large-Diameter Natural Gas Pipeline without Isolator

1State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China
2Petroleum Engineering Institute, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China

Received 6 December 2013; Accepted 15 February 2014; Published 25 March 2014

Academic Editor: M. Montaz Ali

Copyright © 2014 Hongjun Zhu and Qinghua Han. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nitrogen replacement is a key process for natural gas pipeline before it is put into operation. A computational fluid dynamic model coupled to a species-transportation model has been used to investigate the gas mixture length of nitrogen replacement in large-diameter pipeline without isolator. A series of numerical simulations are performed over a range of conditions, including pipe length and diameter, inlet rate, and inclination angle of pipe. These affecting factors are analyzed in detail in terms of volume fraction of nitrogen, the maximum gas mixture length, and gas mixture length varied with time. Gas mixture length increases over time, and the maximum gas mixture length is present at outlet of pipe. Long and large-diameter pipe and fast speed of nitrogen lead to long length of mixed gas, while large inclination angle of pipe brings about short length. Several fitting formulas have been obtained, which can predict the maximum gas mixture length in gas pipelines. The used method of fitting formula is shown in the paper by examples. The results provide effective guidance for practical operation of nitrogen replacement.