Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Effectiveness of using long chain polymer

CLH and SPMR-TRAPIL pipeline networks for refined products have been the test bank to assess how DRAs (Drag Reducing Agent) or PDRs (Pipeline Drag Reducing agent) affect flowrates and energy saving. The battery of tests has tried to be as much extensive as possible, in order to extrapolate the results to any pipeline. To this end, data from tests has been collected at different operation conditions - varying the diameter of pipeline, fuel product transported, additive concentrations and hydraulic conditions of pumping.

The pipeline diameters tested vary from 8” to 16”, and all the tests have been carried out with two different additives A and B, from different vendors:
- DRA A. Poliolefine polymer in water emulsion
- DRA B. Poliolefine polymer gel in light hydrocarbon solution

On the other hand, the polymer effectiveness tests show the differences when using a polymer emulsion or a polymer gel, being more efficient DRA A.

Every test starts collecting the BASE LINE for the pipeline segments selected. A specific scenario must be prepared letting us know the Maximum Flow of the segment without DRA. The information obtained from this scenario will be the ZERO DATA and will be used for the basis of the adjusted calculations like roughness and others.

The effect of DRA injection corresponds to a decrease in the Friction Factor that will vary depending on the additive concentration and the operation conditions of the pipeline. This effect, from the point of view of a pipeline operation, translates to an increase of the flowrates or to a reduction of the energy needed to pumping the fuel product.

Although the volume of DRA injected in a pipeline is limited, it has been demonstrated that the efficiency of DRA has an asinthoptic behaviour for high concentrations of additive. This means that for concentrations higher than 25ppm the efficiency of DRA increase very low or it is not worthy to inject more additive concentration.

Some tests have been done to evaluate the stability of performance. The DRA has a very good performance once it has been injected in the pipeline and all the tests carried out in different pipelines under the same conditions give similar results. Further tests have been carried out creating strong flow fluctuations and the additive has demonstrated good stability, maintaining the efficiency in the segment.

Finally, concerning the DRA concentration, there is an influence in the efficiency along the pipeline length. The tests show that a high DRA concentration has better results in efficiency along the distance. This means, in practical terms, that when using high additive concentration the effectiveness loss is not so incisive.

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Mendez Álvaro, 44
28045 Madrid
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