Synergistic Effect of Natural and Synthetic Polymers as Drag Reducing Agents in Water Flow: Effect of Pipe Diameter

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M.M Gimba


The pressure losses accompanying pipeline turbulent water flow is one of the major challenges in process industries, which requires high pumping energy. Addition of minute quantities of high molecular weight polymeric additives in parts per million (ppm) reduces pumping cost and pressure losses. In this present work, an experimental flow facility which consists of liquids storage tanks, pumps and unplasticised polyvinylchloride (uPVC) horizontal pipe system has been constructed. DR in single-phase water flow was investigated using partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM; magnafloc 1011), polyethylene oxide (PEO) and Aloe Vera mucilage (AVM) separately, as well as mixture of HPAM-AVM and PEO-AVM at different flow rate (Q) in two different pipe diameters (0.012 and 0.02 m ID). Master solution of 2000 ppm and 20000 ppm for HPAM, PEO and AVM respectively and their respective mixtures was used at different concentrations. U-tube manometer was used to measure the pressure drop. Drag reduction (DR) of 73.6%, 76%, 64% for HPAM, PEO and AVM; 80% and 84% for HPAM-AVM; 81.6% and 84.8% for PEO-AVM at mixing ratio of 3:1 and 1:19 in 0.012 m ID was found to be higher than DR obtained in the larger pipe at the same conditions. From the experimental results, it is obvious that at same concentration, polymer type and flow rate DR increased with decrease in the pipe diameter.

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