Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of the Fuel Reactor in NETL's 50 kWth Chemical Looping Facility

[+] Author and Article Information
Ronald W. Breault, Justin Weber, Doug Straub, Sam Bayham

3610 Collins Ferry Road,
Morgantown, WV 26507

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 27, 2016; final manuscript received March 8, 2017; published online May 16, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Ashwani K. Gupta.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(4), 042211 (May 16, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1429; doi: 10.1115/1.4036324 History: Received October 27, 2016; Revised March 08, 2017

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has explored chemical looping in its 50 kWth facility using a number of oxygen carriers. In this work, the results for methane conversion in the fuel reactor with a hematite iron ore as the oxygen carrier are analyzed. The experimental results are compared to predictions using CPFD's barracuda computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code with kinetics derived from the analysis of fixed bed data. It has been found through analytical techniques from thermal gravimetric analysis data as well as the same fixed bed data that the kinetics for the methane–hematite reaction follows a nucleation and growth or Johnson–Mehl–Avrami (JMA) reaction mechanism. barracuda does not accept nucleation and growth kinetics; however, there is enough sufficient variability of the solids dependence within the software such that the nucleation and growth behavior can be mimicked. This paper presents the method to develop the pseudo-JMA kinetics for barracuda extracted from the fixed bed data and then applies these values to the fuel reactor data to compare the computational results to experimental data obtained from 50 kWth unit for validation. Finally, a fuel reactor design for near complete conversion is proposed.

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Fig. 1

Chemical looping combustion process with methane

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Fig. 2

Natural gas 50 kWth chemical looping reactor at NETL

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Fig. 3

Hematite particles used in tests

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Fig. 4

Fractional and cumulative size distributions

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Fig. 5

Particle model used in barracuda: (a) particle, (b) particle model concept, and (c) barracuda particle model

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Fig. 6

Fuel reactor configuration in NETL chemical looping reactor

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Fig. 7

barracuda model configuration of NETL fuel reactor

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Fig. 8

barracuda model boundary ports

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Fig. 9

Model grid and initial solids fill

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Fig. 10

Test unit conversion data and first-order model fit

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Fig. 11

Effects of cycling and exposure temperature

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Fig. 12

Effect of exposure temperature

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Fig. 13

Solids fraction snap shot of the simulation at 629 s

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Fig. 14

Simulation exit gas mass fraction values

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Fig. 15

Comparison of simulation conversion predictions to experimental values

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Fig. 16

Simulation boundary conditions for increased gas residence time simulations

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Fig. 17

Results for increased gas residence time simulations (solids residence time = 210 s except where noted)




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