Biography education   publications

Current Projects


Funded Research Projects

1.      Wael H. Ahmed (PI), Hassan Badr, and Amro Al-Qutub, “Multi-stage Airlift Pump Operating in Two and Three Phase Flows”, Funded by the DSR, KFUPM, 2011 (In Progress) (SR 450K).

Airlift pumps are finding increasing use where pump reliability and low maintenance are required, and when a compressed air or gas are readily available as a source of a renewable energy for water pumping applications. The main objective of the proposed study is to design an innovative multi-stage airlift pump operating under a continuous multiphase flow conditions both gas-liquid and gas-liquid-solid. The new design will be able to handle multiphase flows with high operating performance where available conventional airlift pumps fail to perform. This airlift pumps with an enhanced performance will be introduced to the market for the benefit of two main industries: oil production and water treatment.


2.      Hassan Badr (PI) and Wael H. Ahmed, M.A. Habib, Z. Gasem, John Skrovan, and R. Ben Mansour, “ Development of Experimental Correlations and Software Package for Material Erosion Prediction in Piping Systems”, Funded by KACST, 2011 (1,900 K).

Erosion-corrosion material degradation in piping systems represents one of the major problems in many industries (oil and gas industries, desalination plants, power stations and many others) because of its detrimental effect on various piping components. The rate of corrosion in the presence of solid particle erosion is enhanced due to the removal of the protective layer of metal compound resulting from the corrosion process.  The rate of erosion depends on fluid properties, flow structure, solid particle size and concentration and the type of target material while corrosion is a chemical process that depends mainly on the fluid properties, the flow structure and the material properties.  Although most of the failures in piping systems are attributed to erosion-enhanced corrosion, the understanding of the process is far from complete due to its complexity.  To date, there is no single correlation for predicting the rate of erosion-enhanced corrosion in any pipe fitting based on experimental or theoretical results. 

This research project aims at studying experimentally and computationally the effect of fluid flow parameters, type of solid particles and target materials on erosion-enhanced corrosion in a typical pipe fitting.  The experimental work will focus on the measurements of material degradation due to corrosion and erosion-corrosion in a carbon steel specimen (flat plate) at different flow conditions (flow velocity, inclination angle) for specific CO2 and solid particle concentrations.  The results will be used for developing correlations between the material removal by either corrosion or erosion-enhanced corrosion in terms of the flow parameters and solid particle concentration.  On the other hand, the computational work will utilize the obtained corrosion correlation together with numerical simulation of solid particle erosion (using the Lagrangian particle-tracking technique) for prediction of the rate of erosion-enhance corrosion. The results of the computational model will be validated using the experimental measurements.  Because of the unavailability of erosion rate correlations for a wide range of materials, the experimental part of this research includes the development of erosion correlations for the materials used in this study utilizing an Air Jet Erosion Tester. These correlations will initiate a database to be used by other researchers. 


3.      Meamer El-Nakla (PI), Wael H. Ahmed, W. A. Al-Sarkhi, M. A. Habib, and R. Ben Mansour, “Critical Heat Flux Prediction Program”, Funded by KACST, 2011 (In Progress) (SR 1,881K).


Accurate prediction of critical heat flux (CHF) value is essential for maximum performance and safe operation of boilers, steam generators and nuclear power reactors. The prediction techniques are numerous but they lack many factors as they are limited to narrow ranges of flow conditions and are mostly for uniformly heated tubes. In addition to that there are several separated effects, such as the axial and redial heat flux distributions, on CHF that have not taken much attention when considering the prediction techniques. These separated effects are always encountered during the operation of boilers/ steam generators and nuclear reactors. It is therefore proposed to establish a program that would help in predicting CHF including the separated effects of axial and radial heat flux distribution for a wide range of flow conditions. In order to achieve the objectives of the proposed work, databank of all available experimental data will be integrated in a new predictive tool. Also, innovative experiments will be performed in order to develop new tool of predicting the CHF and to evaluate the current existing models and data available.


4.      Al-Sarkhi, A. (PI), Wael H. Ahmed, and Meamer El-Nakla, “Effect of Drag Reducing Polymers in Multiphase Flow: Analytical Approach”, Funded by Deanship of Scientific Research (IN090050), King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia, 2011. (Completed) (SR 129K)

This research project presents an analytical investigation of the effect of drag reducing polymers (DRP) in multiphase flow. All available investigations in the literature and within the oil industry are done experimentally. No attempt has been made for using the available experimental data for getting useful correlations for the percentage of drag-reduction achieved by drag reducing polymers in multiphase flow. A correlation for the percentage of drag reduction is developed in this project using a published data from literature. A data bank for the available experimental results is also established in this report. The effect of the drag-reducing polymer additives on the pressure drop, and the changes happened to the flow pattern configuration in multiphase flow is studied and explained in this report. Two correlations for the frictional friction factor of the two-phase flow after injection the DRP have been developed which will enable to calculate the amount of drag reduction achieved in the two-phase flow with DRP.                   

A state of the art literature survey of the published work on drag reduction by Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) in two-phase flow is reviewed in this report. Characteristics of the two-phase flow with drag reducing additives are described and the research approaches and methodology concerning drag reduction with additives in multiphase flow is proposed. Suggested mechanisms for drag reduction phenomena and procedure in two-phase flow are discussed in the introduction.  Some of the industrial application of the use of drag reducing additives in two-phase flow is explained. Finally, Recommendations, new suggested approaches for future research needs and potential areas that need further research is highlighted.  

5.      Wael H. Ahmed (PI), Meamer El-Nakla, and A.  Al-Sarkhi, “Developing an Air-Water-Oil Multiphase Flow Meter with the Presence of Solid Particles”, Funded by KACST, 2011, (In Progress) (SR 1,920K).

The need for multiphase flow measurement in the oil & gas production and petrochemical industries has been manifest for many years. Several studies have been carried-out in developing gas-water-oil multiphase flow using different measurements techniques. In addition to the common disadvantages of the existing techniques used, none of the gas-oil-water three-phase flow meters available in the market measure the solid contents, commonly exist in the mixture, or account for their effect on the meters measuring accuracy. Therefore, its is proposed to evaluate existing multiphase flow meters, and develop a new meter that is capable of measuring, with reasonable accuracy, the flow parameters of gas-water-oil-solid multiphase mixture. 


6.      Wael H. Ahmed (PI), Meamer El-Nakla, A.  Al-Sarkhi, and L. Al-Hadrami, “Experimental and Computational Investigations of Flow Accelerated Corrosion under Multi-phase Flow Conditions”, Funded by Deanship of Scientific Research, KFUPM, 2009 (In Progress) (SR 400K).

The overall objective of the proposed study is to investigate the flow structures in piping systems, especially those downstream flow orifices and elicit the flow mechanisms responsible for Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC). In addition to developing a CFD model for the flow parameters downstream of the flow orifices, experiments will be performed for different orifice diameters for a range of Reynolds numbers and inlet two-phase flow regimes. The two-phase flow will be characterized by measuring the void fraction, and flow patterns using capacitance sensors and high-speed video camera. A robust technique for measuring the wear rates will be developed, and related to the flow and wall shear stress.

The proposed work is considered to be a leading-edge worldwide research toward understanding the hydrodynamic effect on FAC. The outcome of this project will benefit two major industries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: power generation and oil production. It will be also considered an important step in a longer term effort to establish multi-phase flow capabilities at KFUPM that can be utilized in order to perform a high quality research in supporting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's industries.


7.      Meamer El-Nakla (PI), Wael H. Ahmed, W. and A. Al-Sarkhi, “Experimental and Analytical Study of Micro-Grooved Heat Pipe Enhancement Using Carbon Nanotube”, Funded by Deanship of Scientific Research, 2009 (In Progress) (SR 120K).


The objective of the proposed investigation is to develop and verify a mathematical model to predict the performance of micro-V-shape-grooved heat pipe with water based carbon nanotubes as working fluid. Micro-grooved heat pipes are passive, closed multi-phase heat transfer devices that circulate the working fluid using the capillary effect of the micro-grooves, and thus don’t require an external pump to drive the flow. Heat pipes are currently used for cooling an increasing number of industrial processes and commercial products. With the increasing heat flux requirements and thermal constraints in many applications, including electric power generation, environmental control (air-conditioners and dehumidifiers), electronics, molding, aerospace and automotive sectors, there is increased interest in using heat pipes because they can provide an order of magnitude higher heat transfer coefficients than other passive systems and even many single-phase forced convection systems.


The proposed work is scheduled to be performed in two phases which are (i) mathematical modeling of the heat transfer processes and fluid flow, and (ii) an experimental set-up to verify the model and to establish an educational and research seed in the multi-phase heat transfer at KFUPM.  

8.      Wael H. Ahmed (PI) “Trending Flow Accelerated Corrosion in CANDU Reactors”, Funded by CANDU Owner Group (COG), Technical Report No. 07-4065, Ontario, Canada, 2008. (Completed) ($ 400K)

9.      Wael H. Ahmed (PI) and Christopher S. Schefiski, “Review of the CHECWORKS Model and Design Basis for Darlington Nuclear Generating Station”, Funded by Ontario Power generation through Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Technical Report No. NK38-CALC-04916-10001, Ontario, Canada, 2006. (Completed) ($ 500K)


Independent Research Projects

10.  Hassan Badr (PI) and Wael H. AhmedDual-Injection Airlift Pump Operating in Two-Phase Flow”, 2011, (Completed).

11.  A. Al sarkhi (PI), Wael H. Ahmed, and M.  El Nakla, “Drift Velocity of Oil-Water Two-Phase Flow in Vertical Pipe”, 2011, (In Progress).