Robustness of three-phase equilibrium calculations

S. E. Gorucu, R. T. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Phase equilibrium calculations converge less often as the number of phases and components increase, and for overall compositions closer to phase split boundaries and critical points. Computational speed and robustness of flash calculations are very important aspects for pipeline transmission and for reservoir simulation where billions of flash calculations may be done. Reduced methods have the potential to improve the robustness of phase equilibrium calculations because if chosen properly they can linearize the equations, use fewer independent variables and can be unbounded. Improved robustness could further improve the speed and accuracy of compositional simulation and avoid false two-phase solutions, where three or more phases may be present.In this paper, we use the reduced variables of Gorucu and Johns (2014) to test robustness in performing two- and three-phase stability analysis and corresponding flash calculations. These multi-phase equilibrium calculations are compared with the conventional phase equilibrium calculations based on minimization of Gibbs energy and the reduced method proposed by Okuno et al. (2010a). Using thousands of equally-spaced and unbiased multi-phase equilibrium calculations, the proposed multi-phase equilibrium calculations are shown to be more robust than the other two tested algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-85
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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