Hydrodynamics in a gravity settling vessel: CFD modelling with LDA validation

M. H. Wan, B. Bara, L. Hackman, J. Czarnecki, A. Afacan, K. Nandakumar, J. H. Masliyah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Vertical gravity settling vessels, usually referred to as primary separation vessels (PSV), are used in separating bitumen aggregates from slurry containing sand and fine clays. The hydrodynamics in the PSV influences the separation efficiency of recovered bitumen through the overall mean flow and turbulent interaction. In order to deepen our understanding of the hydrodynamic conditions in such vessels, this paper presents a combined study of the flow field using Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA) to measure the velocity field, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to validate the CFD model. The investigation shows that the flow geometry has a significant influence on the overall flow pattern in such vessels. It also demonstrates that the CFD simulation is a reliable tool in capturing the complex mean flow pattern observed in experiments. Use of different turbulent models such as the standard k-ε model and Reynolds stress model has very little effect on the mean flow field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1055
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Gravity settling vessel
  • Laser doppler anemometer
  • Mean flow pattern
  • Turbulence


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