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Editorial for Special Issue IWPT-4 in Flow Measurement and Instrumentation

Hampel, U.


In the past years a growing community of measurement scientists and engineers has been struggling with new and optimized measurement and imaging techniques for process engineering applications. This research and development is mainly driven by needs in industry and fundamental science to obtain quantitative parameters from industrial processes. The commonality behind these needs is the fact, that many industrial processes are governed by multiphase flows of educts and products, whose parameters must be obtained in many places of plants and facilities. Most prominent examples of such are multiphase chemical reactors, separation units and solids processing units, thermal hydraulic circuits in nuclear reactors and solar power plants, as well as multiphase streams in mineral oil production. Moreover, there is also a constant pressure from fundamental flow mechanical science to have high resolution experimental data from multiphase flows available for the validation of CFD codes.

Tomographic imaging techniques naturally provide a good basis for multiple parameter measurements, though the requirements for high resolution in space and time, robustness with respect to harsh process conditions and cost issues are difficult to meet, particularly within one instrument or technique. Hence the field of process tomography has been seen to develop continuously since almost 30 years. Mature concepts of robust and non-intrusive tomographic imaging techniques, such as electrical resistance (ERT), capacitance (ECT) or impedance (EIT) tomography, are today constantly improved regarding particular needs of industrial applications, such as real-time monitoring and parameter extraction, 3D imaging and sensor data fusion. Now, however, they become more and more complemented by new techniques, such as electromagnetic tomography (EMT), electromagnetic flow metering with distributed sensors and industrial hard field imaging techniques. Furthermore, emerging process and environmental technologies, like carbon capture and storage, ionic liquids for chemical engineering applications, geothermal energy harvesting and new routes of mineral oil and gas production, such shale gas exploitation, deep-water offshore oil production and processing of high viscosity crudes and and oil sands, demand also new ideas and sensors from industrial process tomography.

The 4th International Workshop on Industrial Process Tomography IWPT-4 held in Chengdu, China, Sept. 21st-23rd, 2011 was a platform for specialists to present and discuss their most recent advancements in the development and application of process tomography techniques. The workshop was the fourth in a successful series of workshops held in Beijing and Hangzhou (2005), Macau (2006), and Tokyo (2009). It was organized by the International Society for Industrial Process Tomography (ISIPT) together with the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Science and hosted by Southwest Petroleum University.

Keywords: process tomography

Involved research facilities

  • TOPFLOW Facility