Validation and application of a multiphase CFD model for hydrodynamics, temperature field and RTD simulation in a pilot-scale biomass pyrolysis vapor phase upgrading reactor

Xi Gao*, Tingwen Li, William A. Rogers, Kristin Smith, Katherine Gaston, Gavin Wiggins, James E. Parks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Accurate prediction of transport phenomena is critical for VPU reactor design, optimization, and scale-up. The current study focused on the validation and application of a multiphase CFD model within an open-source code MFiX for hydrodynamics, temperature field, and residence time distribution (RTD) simulation in a non-reacting circulating fluidized bed riser for biomass pyrolysis vapor phase upgrading (VPU). First, an Eulerian-Eulerian approach three-dimensional CFD model was employed to simulate the pilot-scale VPU riser on the supercomputer Joule. Excellent quantitative agreement between experimental and simulated results was achieved for pressure drops and temperature field in a range of operating conditions. Then the validated multiphase CFD model was applied to predict gas and solid residence time distributions (RTDs) since prediction and analysis of RTD is an important tool to study the complex multiphase flow behavior and mixing inside chemical reactors. The predictions show that solid mean residence time is 3.5 times the gas residence time; the solid RTD is more sensitive to the process gas flow rate than the solids circulation rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124279
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume388
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Hydrodynamics
  • MFIX
  • Residence time distribution
  • Vapor phase upgrading

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