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Fluid dynamic of a gas sparged flotation tank

  • Flotation process is a method for oil/water separation widely used in wastewater treatment
  • Removal of free and dispersed oil in water
  • Induced gas-flotation
  • Flotation tank package for the treatment of produced water
  • The tank has gas sparged (blue) in the bottom of the tank to aid in oil separation
  • Moreover, this equipment contains a structured packed bed (green) to homogenize the water and gas flow
  • The efficiency of these tanks is lower than expected
  • Identify the reasons of this low efficiency
  • It was defined that the simulations will be used to investigate some issues:
    1. The structured packed bed
    2. The influence of water flow rate
    3. The degree of obstruction of gas sparging tubes

Fluid Dynamic Analysis:

  • Euler-Euler Approach (Gas-Water),
  • Euler-Lagrangian Approach, ~300[ppm] (Gas/Water-Oil).

Numerical Simulation procedure:

  • One phase flow simulation
  • Two-phase flow simulation
  • Three-phase flow simulation


We observed that the structured packed bed is important to distribute homogeneously the gas and water flows.

The obstruction of some points of the gas tubes, in the operation without the packed bed, does not affect the gas distribution.

High flow rate creates large recirculation zones inside the tank.