Gas desorption from warm and cold seawater under open-cycle ocean thermal energy conversion (OC-OTEC) conditions is addressed in this paper. The desorption process of dissolved O2, N2, and CO2 in the barometric upcomers of an OTEC plant is simulated mathematically. The model considers the growth of bubbles originating in the ocean and bubbles formed in the upcomers. Bubble growth is induced by gas mass transfer and water evaporation at the bubble-liquid interface, as well as by the decreasing hydrostatic pressure. Heterogeneous nucleation at pipe wall crevices and on suspended particles in the water stream is also modeled. Bubble coalescence due to turbulent shear and differential buoyancy is simulated. The results generated show the deaeration efficiency as a function of flow and geometric parameters. The calculations show that gas desorption in the barometric upcomers can be appreciable. Such desorption is enhanced by increasing the concentration of the incoming and/or the heterogeneously formed bubbles. Results of existing experiments are discussed and predictions are shown for the selected test conditions.

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