CFD-DEM simulation of biomass gasification with steam in a fluidized BEd reactor
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionChemical Engineering Science. 2015, 122 270-283. 10.1016/j.ces.2014.08.045
A comprehensive CFD–DEM numerical model has been developed to simulate the biomass gasification process in a fluidized bed reactor. The methodology is based on an Eulerian–Lagrangian concept, which uses an Eulerian method for gas phase and a discrete element method (DEM) for particle phase. Each particle is individually tracked and associated with multiple physical (size, density, composition, and temperature) and thermo-chemical (reactive or inert) properties. Particle collisions, hydrodynamics of dense gas-particle flow in fluidized beds, turbulence, heat and mass transfer, radiation, particle shrinkage, pyrolysis, and homogeneous and heterogeneous chemical reactions are all considered during biomass gasification with steam. A sensitivity analysis is performed to test the integrated model׳s response to variations in three different operating parameters (reactor temperature, steam/biomass mass ratio, and biomass injection position). Simulation results are analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively in terms of particle flow pattern, particle mixing and entrainment, bed pressure drop, product gas composition, and carbon conversion. Results show that higher temperatures are favorable for the products in endothermic reactions (e.g. H2 and CO). With the increase of steam/biomass mass ratio, H2 and CO2 concentrations increase while CO concentration decreases. The carbon conversion decreases as the height of injection point increases owing to both an increase of solid entrainment and a decrease of particle residence time and particle temperature. Meanwhile, the calculated results compare well with the experimental data available in the literature. This indicates that the proposed CFD–DEM model and simulations are successful and it can play an important role in the multi-scale modeling of biomass gasification or combustion in fluidized bed reactor.