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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 404327, 9 pages
Research Article

Simulation of Multiphase Flow of the Oil-Water Separation in a Rotating Packed Bed for Oil Purification

College of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Electronics Technology, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China

Received 12 December 2012; Accepted 22 January 2013

Academic Editor: Xiaosheng Qin

Copyright © 2013 Xiaojun Zhang et al. 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.


HIGEE (High Gravity Rotary Device) rotating oil purifier which consists of two parts: hydrocyclone separator and rotating packed bed (abbr. RPB) is considered to be capable of removing the solid particle contaminant, moisture and gas simultaneously. As the major unit of HIGEE, the RPB uses centrifugal force to intensify mass transfer. Because of the special structure of RPB, the hydraulic characteristics of the RPB are very important. In this study, the multiphase flow model in porous media of the RPB is presented, and the dynamical oil-water separation in the RPB is simulated using a commercial computational fluid dynamics code. The operating conditions and configuration on the hydraulic performance of the RPB are investigated. The results have indicated that the separation efficiency of HIGEE rotating oil purifier is predominantly affected by operating conditions and the configurations. The best inlet pressure is 0.002 MPa. When the liquid inlet is placed in the outside of the lower surface of RPB; oil outlet is placed in the upper surface, where it is near the rotation axis; and water outlet is placed in the middle of the RPB, where it is far away from the oil outlet, the separating efficiency is the best.