Challenges in Two-fluid Modeling Applied to Large-scale Bubble Plumes
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Large-scale bubble plumes of sour gas from underwater wells pose many environmental health and safety concerns. The prediction of the physical extent of the release and the amount of dissolution into the surrounding ocean water is important for emergency preparedness planning. The two-fluid model has been used in multiphase applications for bubbly flow, and could be applicable for modeling scenarios such as the plume region of an underwater gas well blowout. A customized two-fluid model was implemented in OpenFOAM to account for mass transfer processes. Two separate hydrodynamic studies were performed. It was concluded that the model is likely only applicable in scenarios where the parameters of the model can be tuned to experimental data. Extrapolation of a tuned model to significantly different geometries, larger scales, or more complicated scenarios could pose significant challenges.