Hydrodynamic and gasification behavior of coal and biomass fluidized beds and their mixtures

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Virginia Tech

In this study, efforts ensued to increase our knowledge of fluidization and gasification behavior of Geldart A particles using CFD. An extensive Eulerian-Eulerian numerical study was executed and simulations were compared and validated with experiments conducted at Utah State University. In order to improve numerical predictions using an Eulerian-Eulerian model, drag models were assessed to determine if they were suitable for fine particles classified as Geldart A. The results proved that if static regions of mass in fluidized beds are neglected, most drag models work well with Geldart A particles. The most reliable drag model for both single and binary mixtures was proved to be the Gidaspow-blend model. In order to capture the overshoot of pressure in homogeneous fluidization regions, a new modeling technique was proposed that modified the definition of the critical velocity in the Ergun correlation. The new modeling technique showed promising results for predicting fluidization behavior of fine particles. The fluidization behavior of three different mixtures of coal and poplar wood were studied. Although results indicated good mixing characteristics for all mixtures, there was a tendency for better mixing with higher percentages of poplar wood.

In this study, efforts continued to model co-gasification of coal and biomass. Comparing the coal gasification of large (Geldart B) and fine (Geldart A) particles showed that using finer particles had a pronounced effect on gas yields where CO mass fraction increased, although H2 and CH4 mass fraction slightly decreased. The gas yields of coal gasification with fine particles were also compared using three different gasification agents. Modeling the co-gasification of coal-switchgrass of both fine particles of Geldart A and larger particles of Geldart B showed that there is not a synergetic effect in terms of gas yields of H2 and CH4. The gas yields of CO, however, showed a significant increase during co-gasification. The effects of gasification temperature on gas yields were also investigated.

Biomass, Binary mixture, Coal, Drag models, Fluidization, Gasification, Co-gasification, Mixture