Quantitative multiphase flow characterisation using an Earth's field NMR flow meter

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We present a novel nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) multiphase flow metering system with the ability to interpret the flow regime and quantify both the liquid volumetric flowrate and holdup for gas-liquid flows. The flow measurement apparatus consists of a pre-polarising permanent magnet upstream of an Earth's field radio frequency NMR detection coil. In this work, the system is applied to measure the free induction decay (FID) NMR signal of gas-liquid flows at a range of flow rates in both the stratified and slug flow regimes. Tikhonov regularisation is applied to fit a model equation to the acquired FID signal in order to determine the relevant liquid velocity probability distribution. Signal interpretation applied to the individual NMR scans allows monitoring of both the liquid velocity and holdup with time. The NMR estimate of the liquid holdup is comparable to video analysis of the flowing stream through a transparent pipe section. The accuracy of the NMR metering system is successfully validated against an independent in-line rotameter measurement of the liquid volumetric flowrate during multiphase flow. Finally, analysis of the temporal variation in measured liquid flowrate is shown to clearly distinguish the stratified and slug flow regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalFlow Measurement and Instrumentation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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