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The ZP-4G® Inlet Cyclone applies centrifugal forces to the fluid mixture to achieve optimal degassing of the liquid. The incoming fluid mixture flows smoothly from the inlet pipe into the highly optimised tangential inlet zone, before entering the separation zone of the cyclone. This lessens the potential for droplet shatter and gently releases the gas from the liquid under the influence of the centrifugal forces, thereby optimising the gas / liquid separation process.

The gas-free liquid mixture travels with a swirling motion to the liquid outlet of the cyclone, where the low velocity levels ensure the best possible liquid/liquid separation.

Since this design does not incorporate any guide or flow control vanes, extremely good sand handling capabilities are obtained. It should also be noted that little or no gas will normally be present in the liquid(s) leaving the inlet cyclones. Thus, the use of inlet cyclones has the added benefit of preventing foaming in the separated liquids.

Advantages of the ZP-4G® Inlet Cyclone:

  • Handles high throughput and high inlet momentum
  • Reduces the momentum of the inlet stream, thus minimising the potential for droplet shatter
  • High gas/liquid pre-separation
  • Improved liquid/liquid separation efficiencies
  • No operational pressure limit
  • Elimination of foam, reducing OPEX by reducing the need for anti-foam chemicals
  • Reduces turbulence and re-circulation within the liquid section, thus promoting gravity separation
  • Effectively handles slugs and surges
  • Wide operational range - typically, providing 100% turndown
  • Reduces the size of the inlet nozzle on a new build project
  • Allows a greater fluid throughput for a set nozzle size, on a revamp project
  • Easy to install in new and existing separators
  • High sand loading capability
  • No moving parts, thus no maintenance.

Applications of the ZP-4G ® Inlet Cyclone:

  • Production Separators
  • Test Separators
  • Gas Scrubbers
  • Gas Knock-Out Drums
  • Slug Catchers
  • Flash Drums
  • Free Water Knock-Out Drums
  • Floating Production Units (FPUs).

Case Studies

Slug Catcher Flow Assurance

Gas production systems may operate in the "slug flow" multiphase regime in which large volumes of liquid are interspersed with the gas. Under these conditions, the arrival of the liquid slugs can be detrimental to separation performance and the mechanical stress levels are greatly increased. In the example shown below, Zeta-pdm was asked to analyse the failure of a slug catcher vessel. Inspection showed that the slugs had caused mechanical failure of the separation internals. Subsequently, a simulation study yielded a vastly improved understanding of the flow behaviour, enabling Zeta-pdm to recommend internals better able to withstand severe operating conditions.

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