Phase-equilibrium calculations become computationally intensive in compositional simulation as the number of components and phases increases. Reduced methods were developed to address this problem, where the binary-interaction-parameter (BIP) matrix is approximated either by spectral decomposition (SD), as performed by Hendriks and van Bergen (1992), or with the two-parameter BIP formula of Li and Johns (2006). Several authors have recently stated that the SD method—and by reference all reduced methods—is not as fast as previously reported in the literature. In this paper we present the first study that compares all eight reduced and conventional methods published to date by use of optimized code and compilers.
The results show that the SD method and its variants are not as fast as other reduced methods, and can be slower than the conventional approach when fewer than 10 components are used. These conclusions confirm the findings of recently published papers. The reason for the slow speed is the requirement that the code must allow for a variable number of eigenvalues. We show that the reduced method of Li and Johns (2006) and its variants, however, are faster because the number of reduced parameters is fixed to six, which is independent of the number of components. Speed up in flash calculations for their formula is achieved for all fluids studied when more than six components are used. For example, for 10-component fluids, a speed up of 2–3 in the computational time for Newton-Raphson (NR) iterations is obtained compared with the conventional method modeled after minimization of Gibbs energy. The reduced method modeled after the linearized approach of Nichita and Graciaa (2011), which uses the two-parameter BIP formula of Li and Johns (2006), is also demonstrated to have a significantly larger radius of convergence than other reduced and conventional methods for five fluids studied.