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International Society for Industrial Process Tomography

5th World Congress on Industrial Process Tomography

On- line Visualization of Asymmetric Multi-phase Flow in an Industrial Flow Loop Using Electrical Tomographic Techniques

C. Qiu1, R. Bagatin2, S. Palmery2, G. Bolton1

1 Industrial Tomography Systems Ltd, 47 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1FT, UK, Email:,

2 Eni S.p.A - Refining & Marketing Division - Novara Research Centre “G. Donegani Institute” - Chemical Engineering Department, via G. Fauser,4 - 28100 Novara (NO) – Italy



Multiphase flows occur in many industrial processes, covering both multi-component and multiphase systems (Wang, 2005), such as air-water, solid-water, air-oil as well as air-oil-water combinations. Due to the behaviour and independence of each phase the flow are often very complex. This presents a challenge to the study of the flow mechanisms and measurement of multiphase flow. The development of the ITS M3000 dual-modality (ERT, ECT) process tomography system may provide a means to meet the challenge for the visualisation and characterisation of fluid dynamics in a multiphase flow loop (Qiu et al., 2006).

This paper arises from a collaborative application between ITS and Polimeri European – Refining & Marketing Division – Novara Research Centre. The ITS M3000 dual-modality process tomography system has been initially applied to support the R&D needs of on-line monitoring of multi-phase pipe flows by providing detailed flow information, such as multiphase flow pattern, flow regime, phase volume fraction and the phase velocity. The primary interest is to enhance knowledge of the internal behaviour of multi-phase flow for the optimisation of existing mathematical models of hydraulic transportation processes. A preliminary test for evaluating multiphase flow visualization in a process flow loop using the ITS M3000 is reported in this paper. The quantification of the spatial distribution of the multi-phase flow in the pipe using the ITS M3000 Tomography system - ECT modality and a high speed video-camera system are described, and the results comparison between the two techniques for liquid hold - up measurement are reported.

Keywords Multiphase flows, Dual-modality sensor, Process tomography. High speed video-camera

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