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.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Breault, R. W. , Shadle, L. J. , Spenik, J. L. , and Huckaby, E. D. , 2014, “ CO2 Adsorption: Experimental Investigation and CFD Reactor Model Validation,” J. Comput. Environ. Sci., 2014, p. 503194.
Ciferno, J. , Litynski, J. , Brickett, L. , Murphy, J. , Munson, R. , Zaremsky, C. , Marano, J. , and Strock, J. , 2010, “ DOE/NETL Advanced CO2 Capture R&D Program: Technology Update,” U.S. Department of Energy, Morgantown, WV.
Figueroa, J. D. , Fout, T. , Plasynski, S. , McIlvried, H. , and Srivastava, R. D. , 2008, “ Advances in CO2 Capture Technology—The U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Sequestration Program,” Int. J. Greenhouse Gas Control, 2(1), pp. 9–20. [CrossRef]
Mahalatkar, K. , Kuhlman, J. , Huckaby, E. D. , and O’Brien, T. , 2011, “ Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulations of Chemical Looping Fuel Reactors Utilizing Gaseous Fuels,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 66(3), pp. 469–479. [CrossRef]
Mattisson, T. , Lyngfelt, A. , and Cho, P. , 2001, “ The Use of Iron Oxide as an Oxygen Carrier in Chemical-Looping Combustion of Methane With Inherent Separation of CO2,” Fuel, 80(13), pp. 1953–1962. [CrossRef]
Son, S. , and Kim, S. , 2006, “ Chemical-Looping Combustion With NiO and Fe2O3 in a Thermobalance and Circulating Fluidized Bed Reactor With Double Loops,” Ind. Eng. Chem., 45(8), pp. 2689–2696. [CrossRef]
Jung, J. , and Gamwo, I. , 2008, “ Multiphase CFD-Based Models for Chemical Looping Combustion Process: Fuel Reactor Modeling,” Powder Technol., 183(3), pp. 401–409. [CrossRef]
Weber, J. , Straub, D. , Breault, R. W. , and Richards, G. , 2014, “ Operating Experience of a Chemical Looping Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustor,” 39th International Technical Conference on Clean Coal and Fuel Systems, Clearwater, FL, June 1–5, Paper No. 86.
Weber, J. , Straub, D. , Breault, R. W. , and Richards, G. , 2014, “ Operating Experience of a 50 kWth Chemical Looping Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustor and Geometrically Similar Cold Flow Unit,” International Conference on Chemical Looping, Gothenburg, Sweden, Sept. 9–11.
Breault, R. W. , Weber, J. , Bayham, S. , and Straub, D. , 2016, “ Operating Experience of a 50kwth Methane Chemical Looping Reactor,” Fluidization XV, Quebec, Canada, May 22–27.
LLC CS, 2009, “ Barracuda: Computational Particle Fluid Dynamics,” CPFD-software, Albuquerque, NM.
Andrews, M. J. , and O'Rourke, P. J. , 1996, “ The Multiphase Particle-in-Cell (MP-PIC) Method for Dense Particulate Flows,” Int. J. Multiphase Flow, 22(2), pp. 379–402. [CrossRef]
Snider, D. M. , 2001, “ An Incompressible Three-Dimensional Multiphase Particle-in-Cell Model for Dense Particle Flows,” J. Comput. Phys., 170(2), pp. 523–549. [CrossRef]
O’Rourke, P. J. , Zhao, P. , and Snider, D. M. , 2009, “ A Model for Collisional Exchange in Gas/Liquid/Solid Fluidized Beds,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 64(8), pp. 1784–1797. [CrossRef]
O'Rourke, P. J. , and Snider, D. M. , 2010, “ An Improved Collision Damping Time for MP-PIC Calculations of Dense Particle Flows With Applications to Polydisperse Sedimenting Beds and Colliding Particle Jets,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 65(22), pp. 6014–6028. [CrossRef]
Snider, D. M. , Clark, S. M. , and O’Rourke, P. J. , 2011, “ Eulerian–Lagrangian Method for Three Dimensional Thermal Reacting Flow With Application to Coal Gasifiers,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 66(6), pp. 1285–1295. [CrossRef]
Snider, D. M. , and Banerjee, S. , 2010, “ Heterogeneous Gas Chemistry in the CPFD Eulerian–Lagrangian Numerical Scheme (Ozone Decomposition),” Powder Technol., 199(1), pp. 100–106. [CrossRef]
Anderson, T. B. , and Jackson, R. , 1967, “ Fluid Mechanical Description of Fluidized Beds: Equations of Motion,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Fundam., 6(4), pp. 527–539. [CrossRef]
Jackson, R. , 2000, The Dynamics of Fluidized Particles, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Monazam, E. R. , Breault, R. W. , and Siriwardane, R. , 2014, “ Kinetics of Magnetite (Fe3O4) Oxidation to Hematite (Fe2O3) in Air for Chemical Looping Combustion,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 53(34), pp. 13320–13328.
Monazam, E. R. , Breault, R. W. , Siriwardane, R. , and Miller, D. , 2013, “ Thermogravimetric Analysis of Modified Hematite by Methane (CH4) for Chemical-Looping Combustion: A Global Kinetics Mechanism,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 52(42), pp. 14808–14816. [CrossRef]
Monazam, E. R. , Breault, R. W. , Siriwardane, R. , Richards, G. , and Carpenter, S. , 2013, “ Kinetics of the Reduction of Hematite (Fe2O3) by Methane (CH4) During Chemical Looping Combustion: A Global Mechanism,” Chem. Eng. J., 232, pp. 478–487. [CrossRef]
Monazam, E. R. , Breault, R. W. , Siriwardane, R. , Tian, H. , Simonyi, T. , and Carpenter, S. , 2012, “ Effect of Carbon Deposition on Oxidation Rate of Copper/Bentonite in Chemical Looping Process,” Energy Fuels, 26(11), pp. 6576–6583. [CrossRef]
Breault, R. W. , and Monazam, E. R. , 2014, “ Fixed Bed Reduction of Hematite Under Alternating Reduction and Oxidation Cycles,” 39th International Technical Conference on Clean Coal and Fuel Systems, Clearwater, FL, Paper No. 90.
Breault, R. W. , and Monazam, E. R. , 2015, “ Fixed Bed Reduction of Hematite Under Alternating Reduction and Oxidation Cycles,” Appl. Energy, 145, pp. 180–190. [CrossRef]
Breault, R. W. , and Monazam, E. R. , 2016, “ Modeling of the Reduction of Hematite in the Chemical Looping Combustion of Methane Using Barracuda,” Energy Technol., 4(10), pp. 1221–1229. [CrossRef]
Breault, R. W. , Liu, Y. , Konan, N. A. , Weber, J. , Huckaby, E. D. , and Gallagher, M. J. , 2013, “ Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulation of a Circulating Dual Fluidized Bed Prototype for Chemical Looping Combustion,” 38th International Technical Conference on Clean Coal and Fuel Systems, Clearwater, FL, June 1–5, Paper No. 71.
Blaser, P. J. , and Corina, G. , 2012, “ Validation and Application of Computational Modeling to Reduce Erosion in a Circulating Fluidized Bed Boiler,” Int. J. Chem. Reactor Eng., 10(1), p. A51. [CrossRef]
Breault, R. W. , Yarrington, C. S. , and, Weber, J. M. , 2015, “ The Effect of Thermal Treatment of Hematite Ore for Chemical Looping Combustion of Methane,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 138(4), p. 042202. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Natural gas 50 kWth chemical looping reactor at NETL

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Chemical looping combustion process with methane

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Fractional and cumulative size distributions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Hematite particles used in tests

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Fuel reactor configuration in NETL chemical looping reactor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Test unit conversion data and first-order model fit

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

barracuda model configuration of NETL fuel reactor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

barracuda model boundary ports

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Model grid and initial solids fill

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Effects of cycling and exposure temperature

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Effect of exposure temperature

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Simulation exit gas mass fraction values

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Solids fraction snap shot of the simulation at 629 s

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Comparison of simulation conversion predictions to experimental values

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Simulation boundary conditions for increased gas residence time simulations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

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



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In