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Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

An Eulerian Approach to Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of a Chemical-Looping Combustion Reactor With Chemical Reactions

[+] Author and Article Information
Subhodeep Banerjee

Department of Mechanical Engineering
and Materials Science,
Washington University in St. Louis,
1 Brookings Drive,
St. Louis, MO 63130
e-mail: sb13@wustl.edu

Ramesh K. Agarwal

Department of Mechanical Engineering
and Materials Science,
Washington University in St. Louis,
1 Brookings Drive,
St. Louis, MO 63130
e-mail: rka@wustl.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 20, 2015; final manuscript received October 19, 2015; published online December 15, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Terry Wall.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 138(4), 042201 (Dec 15, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: JERT-15-1266; doi: 10.1115/1.4031968 History: Received July 20, 2015; Revised October 19, 2015

Chemical-looping combustion (CLC) is a next-generation combustion technology that shows great promise in addressing the need for high-efficiency low-cost carbon capture from fossil fueled power plants. Although there have been a number of experimental studies on CLC in recent years, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations have been limited in the literature. In this paper, simulation of a CLC reactor is conducted using the Eulerian approach in the commercial CFD solver ansys fluent based on a laboratory-scale experiment with a dual fluidized bed CLC reactor. The solid phase consists of a Fe-based oxygen carrier while the gaseous fuel used is syngas. The salient features of the fluidization behavior in the air reactor and fuel reactor beds representing a riser and a bubbling bed, respectively, as well as the down-comer, are accurately captured in the simulation. This work is among the few CFD simulations of a complete circulating dual fluidized bed system for CLC in 3D in the literature. It highlights the importance of 3D simulation of CLC systems and the need for more accurate empirical reaction rate data for future CLC simulations.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic representation of a CLC system with (a) interconnected fluidized beds and (b) packed bed with alternating flow [5]

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Fig. 2

Sketch of experimental reactor: (1) air reactor, (2) down-comer, (3) fuel reactor, (4) slot, (5) gas distributor plate, (6) wind box, (7) reactor part, (8) particle separator, and (9) leaning wall. The symbols (x) and (o) indicate fluidization in the down-comer and slot. (a) The lower part—front view, (b) entire reactor—front view, and (c) entire reactor—side view.

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Fig. 3

Computational domain and grid for 2D CFD simulation with detailed view of lower bed

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Fig. 5

Static pressure loop inside the dual fluidized bed reactor after 1 s of 2D simulation showing the pressure drops and gravity-driven flows inside the system (AR = air reactor and FR = fuel reactor)

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Fig. 4

Contours of solid volume fraction for the first second of 2D simulation showing the initial development of solids flow inside the dual fluidized bed reactor system. The maximum value of 0.63 represents the solids packing limit volume fraction.

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Fig. 11

Mass fractions of CO2 and H2O at the fuel reactor outlet for the 3D simulation

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Fig. 10

Contours of CO2 mass fraction for the first 10 s of 3D simulation showing the increased diffusion and absence of the vortex pattern compared to the 2D case

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Fig. 9

Computational domain (L) and grid (R) for 3D CFD simulation

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Fig. 8

Stable plume of reversed flow in fuel reactor after 10 s of simulation

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Fig. 7

Mass fractions of CO2 and H2O at the fuel reactor outlet for the 2D simulation showing fluctuations caused by the vortex pattern seen in Fig. 6 during initial development of flow

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Fig. 6

Contours of CO2 mass fraction for the first 5 s of 2D simulation showing the vortex pattern seen during the initial development of gas flow inside the fuel reactor

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