Experimental Study of Airlift Pump Performance with S-Shaped Riser Tube Bend

Full Text (PDF, 319KB), PP.1-12

Views: 0 Downloads: 0


Abdel Fattah Mahrous 1,2

1. Menoufiya University, Shebin El-Kom, 32511, Egypt

2. Taif University, Al-huwayah, P.O.Box: 888, 21974, KSA

* Corresponding author.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5815/ijem.2013.01.01

Received: 4 Mar. 2013 / Revised: 16 Apr. 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 29 Jun. 2013

Index Terms

Airlift pump, two-phase flow, bent riser tube, S-bend


Airlift pump is a type of deep well pumps. Sometimes, it is used for removing water from mines or pumping slurry of sand and water or other solutions. The performance of airlift pump is affected by two sets of parameters; the geometrical and operational parameters. The geometrical parameters include pipe diameter, pump height, design of air injection system, and entrance geometry of the lifting pipe; while the operational parameters involve submergence ratio, conditions of injected air, and nature of lifted phase. Conventionally, airlift pump with bent riser tube is less efficient than that with vertically straight riser tube. However, in real life situations, the use of local riser tube bend or flexible riser tubes is considerably unavoidable. This work investigates experimentally the effects of local bends of the riser tube on the airlift pump performance. A series of experiments on a model airlift pump with three different riser tube configurations, based on the vertical position of local bends, were carried out. The local bends are in the form of an S-shaped like duct. The results showed that setting local bends of the riser tube near the air injection zone improves the airlift pump performance. However, improvement obtained in airlift pump performance is being negligible and, thus, the position of local bend of riser tube does not contribute to improvements in the performance of airlift pump.

Cite This Paper

Abdel Fattah Mahrous,"Experimental Study of Airlift Pump Performance with S-Shaped Riser Tube Bend", IJEM, vol.3, no.1, pp.1-12, 2013.DOI: 10.5815/ijem.2013.01.01


[1] Parker, G.J. The effect of foot piece design on the performance of a small diameter airlift pump. Int. J. Heat and Fluid Flow; 1980; 2(4): 245-252.

[2] Mansour, H., Khalil, M.F. Effect of air injection method on the performance of airlift pump. Mansoura Eng. J.; 1990; 15(2): 107-118.

[3] Khalil, M.F., Elshorbagy, K.A., Kassab, S.Z., Fahmy, R.I. Effect of air injection method on the performance of an airlift pump. Int. J. Heat and Fluid Flow; 1999; 20: 598-604.

[4] Khalil, M.F., H. Mansour, H. Improvement of the performance of an airlift pump by means of surfactants. Mansoura Eng. J.; 1990; 15(2): 119-129.

[5] Lawniczak, F., Francois, P., Scrivener, O., Kastrinakis, E.G., Nychas, S.G. The efficiency of short airlift pumps operating at low submergence ratios. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering; 1999; 77: 3-10.

[6] Fujimoto, H., Murakami, S., Omura, A., Takuda, H. Effect of local pipe bends on pump performance of a small air-lift system in transporting solid particles. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow; 2004; 25: 996–1005.

[7] Mahrous, A.-F. Numerical study of solid particles-based airlift pump performance. WSEAS Transactions on Applied and Theoretical Mechanics; 2012; 7(3): 221-230.

[8] Shimizu, Y., Tojo, C., Suzuki, M., Takagaki, Y., Saito, T. A study on the air-lift pumping system for manganese nodule mining, in Proc. of the 2nd International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, San Francisco, USA; 1992; 490-497.

[9] Reinemann, D.J., Timmons, M.B. Predicting oxygen transfer and total dissolved gas pressure in airlift pumping. Aquacultural Engineering; 1989; 8: 29-46.

[10] Dedegil, M.Y. Principles of airlift techniques, in Encyclopedia of Fluid Mechanics, N.P. Chereimisinoff, Editor; 1986; Gulf, Houston, TX. p. Chapter 12.

[11] Nenes, A., Assimacopoulos, D., Markatos, N., Mitsoulis, E. Simulation of airlift pumps for deep water wells. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering; 1996; 74: 448-456.

[12] Mudde, R.F. Gravity-driven bubbly flows. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech.; 2005; 37: 393–423.

[13] Clauss, G.F. Investigation of characteristic data of air lifting in ocean mining (Untersuchung der kenngrőben des airlifts beim Einsatz im ozeanbergbau). Erdől-Erdgas-Zeitschrift; 1971; 87: 57-66 (In German).

[14] Boës, C., Düring, R., Wasserroth, E. Airlift as a drive for single and double pipe conveying plants (Airlift als antrieb für einrohr-und doppelrohr-főrderanlagen). főrdern und heben; 1972; 22(7): 367-378 (In German).

[15] Yoshinaga, T., Sato, Y. Performance of an air-lift pump for conveying coarse particles. Int. J. Multiphase Flow; 1996; 22(2): 223-238.

[16] Margaris, D.P., Papanikas, D.G. A generalized gas-liquid-solid three-phase flow analysis for airlift pump design. Trans. of the ASME, J. of Fluids Engineering; 1997; 119: 995-1002.

[17] Hatta, N., Fujimoto, H., Isobe, M., Kang, J. Theoretical analysis of flow characteristics of multiphase mixtures in a vertical Pipe. Int. J. Multiphase Flow; 1998; 24(4): 539-561.

[18] Mahrous, A.-F. Performance of airlift pumps, in Mechanical Power Engineering Dept.; 2001; Menoufiya University, Egypt.

[19] Yoshinaga, T., Sato, Y., Sadatomi, M. Characteristics of air-lift pump for conveying solid particles. Jap. J. Multiphase Flow; 1990; 4: 174-191 (in Japanese).