Sizing Relief Systems for High Viscosity Two-Phase Flow

High viscosity two-phase (HVTP) flow occurs in many industrial scale reactors, particularly when runaway reactions (e.g. during polymerizations) are vented through an emergency relief system. The design of a relief system for two-phase discharge can be complicated, as it involves a fluid with a liquid-like density and a gas-like compressibility. Moreover, the fluid may flash as it loses pressure, achieving choked flow at the valve's exit and thus, limiting the flow capacity of the relief system. The literature indicates that 30-40% of the relief devices that are in existence violate industry guidelines for inlet pressure drop and backpressure.

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