Surface tension prediction for hydrocarbons and its application to level swell modelling

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4 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, methods for estimating surface tension are considered where the specific gravity and normal boiling point are known such as when the composition is expressed using petroleum fractions. This is of interest as surface tension is an important parameter in the calculation of outflow conditions from a two-phase vessel undergoing level swell. A new improved correlation for the parachor is presented and the improved accuracy of the surface tension and bubble rise velocity compared to when the original parachor correlation is used is assessed. Finally the sensitivity of outflow predictions to changes in the surface tension is presented for a depressurising vessel containing pentane. For the vessel depressurisation simulation where the original parachor correlation is used, two-phase venting is maintained for two-three times as long compared to when the actual parachor or improved parachor correlation is used to estimate the surface tension. This has an impact on the error in predicting the mass flow rate as a source condition for other consequence models and also in vent sizing calculations. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2002


  • Emergency pressure relief
  • Level swell
  • Petroleum fractions
  • Surface tension
  • Vessel outflow


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