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    With the development of economy and society, the consumption of fossil energy is gradually increasing. In order to solve the current energy dilemma, Natural gas hydrate (NGH) is considered as an ideal alternative energy. At the same time, solid fluidization exploitation is an ideal method. However, in the process of that, sand and hydrate ore bodies enter the closed pipeline together, which will block the pipeline and increase the difficulty of exploitation. Therefore, the pre-separation of sand by hydrocyclone plays an important role in solid fluidization exploitation. In this study, the numerical simulation method was used to study the internal flow field characteristics of the hydrocyclone, and the effects of different flow rate, different flow ratio, different sand content and different particle diameter on the phase distribution were investigated. The results show that: at the same axial position, the increase of flow rate and sand content makes the sand phase more distributed at the edge of the flow field. Under the same working conditions, the sand gradually migrates to the center of the flow field with the increase of the axial distance. By calculation, it is obtained that under the optimum working condition of the flow rate is 4.83m3/h, the flow ratio is 20%, the sand content is 20%, and sand diameter is 80μm, the maximum Es is 22.1% and the minimum is 86.1%. Finally, a comprehensive analysis of the hydrocyclone in this study shows that this hydrocyclone is only applicable to rough pre-separation of sand in the process of solid fluidization exploitation. Through the study of the internal flow field characteristics and phase distribution law of the hydrocyclone, this study provides a reference for the practical engineering application of sand phase pre-separation in the solid fluidization exploitation of NGH. Copyright: © 2023 Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


    Na Wei, Yi Qiao, Shuanshi Fan, Meng Cai, Haitao Li, Shouwei Zhou, Jinzhou Zhao, Liehui Zhang, Richard Banks Coffin. Analysis of flow field characteristics of sand removal hydrocyclone applicable to solid fluidization exploitation of natural gas hydrate. PloS one. 2023;18(12):e0295147

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    PMID: 38060521

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