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Conceptual Design and Simulation Study of a Co-gasification Technology

Conceptual Design and Simulation Study of a Co-gasification Technology

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Conceptual design and simulation study
of a co-gasi\ufb01cation technology
Zhao Yuehong, Wen Hao*, Xu Zhihong
Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100080, PR China
Received 11 August 2004; received in revised form 23 February 2005; accepted 25 August 2005
Available online 10 October 2005

As a promising clean coal technology, co-gasi\ufb01cation has been extensively investigated. In this paper, a new co-gasi\ufb01- cation technology and a conceptually designed gasi\ufb01er for such technology are proposed. The distinct advantages of this technology are its fuel \ufb02exibility and the availability to establish the gasi\ufb01er by reconstructing a blast furnace or similar shaft furnace. Based on the idea of the new co-gasi\ufb01cation technology, process modeling is conducted using the ASPEN Plus process simulator. By comparison with the laboratory scale experimental measurements on the co-gasi\ufb01cation pro- cess, it is shown that the developed model reasonably describes the thermodynamic features of the co-gasi\ufb01cation process and, thus, provides a useful tool for the analysis of this process. The obtained results also demonstrate that the co- gasi\ufb01cation process provides an ideal thermodynamic condition for the co-gasi\ufb01cation reactions and can operate at a quasi-equilibrium condition without employing catalysts at 1273 K. Lastly, the e\ufb00ects of changes of oxygen, steam and natural gas in the feedstock on the co-gasi\ufb01cation process are studied by sensitivity analysis using the developed model.

\u00d32005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Co-gasi\ufb01cation; Blast furnace; Gasi\ufb01er; ASPEN Plus
1. Introduction

Coal is a major source of energy, accounting for\ue00025% of the world energy supplies and\ue00040% of the world electricity generation. It is predicted that coal will continue to play an important role in meeting the world\u00d5s increasing energy demands in the foreseeable future. However, the use of coal faces several challenges. The major one is the considerable emission of CO2, SOx and NOx, which leads to climate change and air pollution. Co-gasi\ufb01cation of coal with other less carbon containing fuels, such as natural gas, coke oven gas, biomass and waste plastics with the aid of oxygen and steam, is considered to be a promising technology to reduce such emissions, even in dealing with high ash content coals and has been extensively investigated[1\u20136]. Further- more, the urgent needs for producing alternative liquid fuels and chemical products from syngas prompt

0196-8904/$ - see front matter\u00d3 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 10 62626704; fax: +86 10 62561822.
E-mail address:hwen@home.ipe.ac.cn(W. Hao).
Energy Conversion and Management 47 (2006) 1416\u20131428
the study of such a process. Up to now, studies of co-gasi\ufb01cation processes have been performed using en-
trained, \ufb02uidized bed and \ufb01xed bed gasi\ufb01ers and hybrid systems.

China is the largest coal consumer in the world, accounting for 28% of the total consumption. However, 80% of the coal consumed in China is burned directly, which leads to severe atmospheric pollutions and CO2discharges[7]. By 2000, China\u00d5s CO2emission had amounted to 30.52\u00b7 108 ton[8], making China the second largest CO2 producer following the US. It is indeed a challenge for China to reduce the waste emissions and CO2discharges without impeding social and economic development. Besides increasing the use of clean fuel, co-gasi\ufb01cation may be a promising way for China in view of the higher price of natural gas and oil in China. On the other hand, the alternative liquid synfuel from syngas is being researched in China to meet the rapidly increasing demand for liquid fuel. These two conditions lead to the idea of studying fuel \ufb02exible co-gasi\ufb01cation technology.

In the present work, a new co-gasi\ufb01cation technology with the feature of fuel \ufb02exibility is proposed. The core of this co-gasi\ufb01cation technology is a shaft furnace type gasi\ufb01er, which can be established by restructuring a blast furnace or similar shaft furnace[9\u201311]. The literature survey shows that no information on such tech- nology is currently available in the open literature. This paper deals with the conceptual design and modeling study of this new co-gasi\ufb01cation technology. The sensitivity analysis of this co-gasi\ufb01cation process is also con- ducted for analyzing the e\ufb00ects of its major operating parameters with the model developed in this paper.

2. Conceptual design of the co-gasi\ufb01cation process
Fig. 1depicts a schematic diagram of the conceptually designed gasi\ufb01er, which is the core of the proposed
co-gasi\ufb01cation technology. The gasi\ufb01er is a shaft furnace type reactor, derived from a blast furnace or similar
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the gasi\ufb01er.
Z. Yuehong et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 47 (2006) 1416\u20131428

shaft furnace, in which a packed coke bed is formed. It can be divided into three functional zones, which are a gasi\ufb01cation zone in the packed coke bed, a lower combustion zone below the packed coke bed and an upper combustion zone on the top of the packed coke bed.

As a blast furnace, the gasi\ufb01er is charged at the top in a conventional manner with the mixture of solid carbonaceous material, which can be coal or coke, and slag producing material, such as limestone. By adding the slag producing material, it is possible to desulphurize the produced syngas in the gasi\ufb01er and to control the composition of the slag phase that determines the smelting characteristics of the slag.

In the upper combustion zone, the charge introduced into the gasi\ufb01er moves downwards due to gravity and meets the oxygen and steam introduced through tuyere set T3, as shown inFig. 1. The presence of oxygen, steam and high temperature gas from the gasi\ufb01cation zone prompts the process of devolatilization, pyrolysis of the coal and further cracking of volatiles, producing the hot char that, in turn, moves downwards to the gasi\ufb01cation zone. Reactions(1)\u2013(3) present the major reactions occurring in this zone.

Wet coal! dry coal + H2O
Coal! CH4+ light hydrocarbons + tar + CO + CO2+H2+ H2O + coke
CH4+ light hydrocarbons + tar + coke + O2!CO + CO2+ H2+H2O

In the gasi\ufb01cation zone, the high temperature gas stream from the lower combustion zone passes through the coke bed and provides a high temperature atmosphere. The remaining carbonaceous materials, tar and light hydrocarbons from the upper combustion zone, trapped in the coke bed, increase their residence time, allowing for further cracking and reforming gasi\ufb01cation in accordance with the reactions of char gasi\ufb01cation, hydrocarbons reforming and the water\u2013gas shift, as shown in the following reactions(4)\u2013(8). The reactions of desulphurization and heat exchange between the char and the gas stream also occur.

C + CO2= 2CO
C + H2O = CO + H2
CmHn+m CO2 = 2m CO +n/2 H2
CmHn+m H2O =m CO + (n + 2m)/2 H2
CO + H2O =CO2+H2

According to the successful experience of Corex technology[12], the temperature of\ue0001273 K is su\ufb03cient to cause complete disassociation of ammonia, phenols, tars and other condensable hydrocarbons. Therefore, the produced syngas is designed be withdrawn in the middle of the gasi\ufb01er, as shown inFig. 1, where the gas tem- perature is at\ue0001273 K. As a result, the heavy hydrocarbons contamination of the produced syngas is expected be greatly reduced. However, in order to avoid the possible ash sintering, the maximal temperature in the gas- i\ufb01cation zone should be controlled below the fusion point of the ash (\ue0001573 K).

In the lower combustion zone, the fuels, which can be natural gas, oil, waste plastic or pulverized coal, mixed with oxygen and with lime if desired, are injected into the gasi\ufb01er through tuyere set T1 just above the hearth line of the gasi\ufb01er, as shown inFig. 1. As a result, an oxidizing atmosphere is formed in this zone, and the injected fuel and the residual char fromthe gasi\ufb01cation zone are ignited and partially combusted, pro- ducing the gaseous products that move upward into and through the coke bed in the gasi\ufb01cation zone. The ash components in the injected fuel and char are melted in the resulting high temperature atmosphere, dripping and accumulating in the hearth, which is periodically discharged from a tapping hole. The input lime is also melted and removes some sulfur from the produced syngas. Steam is injected through tuyere set T2 located above T1 in order to adjust the gas temperature. The injected steam steals some heat and reacts with the hot carbonaceous material, thus reducing the gas temperature and enriching the produced syngas with addi- tional hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The major representative reactions occurring in this section are listed as reactions(9)\u2013(13).

C +O2= CO2
Z. Yuehong et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 47 (2006) 1416\u20131428

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