Rapid flash calculations for compositional simulation

Yinghui Li, Russell T. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The computational time for conventional flash calculations increases significantly with the number of components, making it impractical for use in many fine-grid compositional simulations and other applications. Previous research to increase flash-calculation speed has been limited to those with zero binary interaction parameters (BIPs) or approximate methods based on an eigenvalue analysis of the binary interaction matrix. Practical flash calculations, however, nearly always have some nonzero BIPs. Further, the accuracy and speed of the eigenvalue methods varies depending on the choice and number of the dominant eigenvalues. This paper presents a new and simple method for significantly increasing the speed of flash calculations for any number of nonzero BIPs. The approach requires the solution of up to six reduced parameters regardless of fluid complexity or the number of components and is based on decomposing the BIPs into two parameters using a simple quadratic expression. The new approach is exact in that the equilibrium-phase compositions for the same BIPs are identical to those with the conventional flash calculation; no eigenvalue analysis is required. Further, the new approach eliminates the Rachford-Rice procedure (1952) and is more robust than the conventional flash-calculation procedure. We demonstrate the new approach for several example fluids and show that speedup by a factor of approximately 3 to 20 is obtained over conventional flash calculations, depending on the number of components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-529
Number of pages9
JournalSPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geology


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