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and Simulation (CIVS),

Purdue University Calumet,

Hammond, IN 46323

Armin K. Silaen

Center for Innovation Through Visualization

and Simulation (CIVS),

Purdue University Calumet,

Hammond, IN 46323

Bin Wu

Center for Innovation Through Visualization

and Simulation (CIVS),

Purdue University Calumet,

Hammond, IN 46323

Chenn Q. Zhou1

Center for Innovation Through Visualization

and Simulation (CIVS),

Purdue University Calumet,

Hammond, IN 46323

Dwight Agnello-Dean

BP Refining and Logistics Technology,

Naperville, IL 60563

Joseph Wilson

BP Refining and Logistics Technology,

Naperville, IL 60563

Numerical Simulation of

an Industrial Fluid Catalytic

Cracking Regenerator

Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is one of the most important conversion processes in

petroleum refineries, and the FCC regenerator is a key part of an FCC unit utilized in the

recovery of solid catalyst reactivity by burning off the deposited coke on the catalyst

surface. A three-dimensional multiphase, multispecies reacting flow computational fluid

dynamics (CFD) model was established to simulate the flow and reactions inside an FCC

regenerator. The EulerEuler approach, where the two phases (gas and solid) are considered to be continuous and fully interpenetrating, is employed. The model includes

gassolid momentum exchange, gassolid heat exchange, gassolid mass exchange, and

chemical reactions. Chemical reactions incorporated into the model simulate the

combustion of coke which is present on the catalyst surface. The simulation results were

validated by plant data. [DOI: 10.1115/1.4029209]

Keywords: regenerator, CFD, Eulerian, kinetic theory, drag model, hydrodynamics,

combustion

Qingjun Meng

BP Refining and Logistics Technology,

Naperville, IL 60563

Samir Khanna

BP Refining and Logistics Technology,

Naperville, IL 60563

Introduction

solid two-phase flow, which is widely used in some industries like

nuclear, chemical, gasification, and petroleum [1,2], mainly

because of its continuous powder handling ability, vigorous gas

solid contact, and fast heat and mass transfer [3]. FCC units play a

pivotal role in the petroleum refining industry, which converts

petroleum into lower molecular-weight hydrocarbon products

such as gasoline [4]. The gassolid two-phase flow in a regenerator directly influences the productivity and quality of light products. Although the air-catalysts two-phase flow in a regenerator is

well controlled and reached commercial status many years ago,

better understanding of the hydrodynamics can further improve

the efficiency [5]. With a good theoretical understanding of the

gassolid two phases flow hydrodynamics, numerical simulation

can be used as a tool for detailed study, design, and further optimization of regenerators [6]. Chen [7] proposed that engineering

innovations should be in response to shorter reaction time, heavier

feedstock, and high regenerator temperature. CFD techniques are

1

Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the

JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received

March 9, 2014; final manuscript received November 3, 2014; published online

February 18, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Ranganathan Kumar.

derived from the partial differential equations based on the conservation of mass, momentum and energy. They offer a new

approach to study the hydrodynamics and transfer mechanisms in

gassolid two phases flow with relatively good efficiency and accuracy [3,6].

Fluidization of solid FCC catalyst bed by gas is the most important phenomena in the FCC process. The physical properties of

FCC catalyst particles will affect the fluidization. Geldart [8] classified particles into four groups: A, B, C, and D. Particles in group

A have a small mean size and a low particle density (less than

about 1.4 g/cm3), while particles in group B have a mean size that

ranges between 40 lm and 500 lm and density that ranges between

1.4 g/cm3 and 4 g/cm3. Powders which in any way are cohesive

belong to group C and are very difficult to fluidize. Group D particles are confined to large and very dense particles. FCC catalysts

belong to groups A and B, which can be easily fluidized.

There are two different approaches that can be used in CFD to

model the gassolid two-phase flows that involve particles of

groups A or B: the Lagrangian approach and the Eulerian

approach [5,9,10]. The Lagrangian approach solves the

Newtonian equations of motion for each particle, and takes into

consideration the effects of particle collisions and forces acting on

the particles by gas. Particle collision laws are applied for the

solidsolid collision based on the energy dissipation by means of

the restitution coefficient and friction [11,12]. However, the

C 2015 by ASME

Copyright V

when compared to the Eulerian approach and most of the applications are limited to large particles (d > 500 lm) [1316]. In the

Eulerian approach, all the phases are considered to be continuous

and fully interpenetrating, which is described by generalized

NavierStokes equations. The Eulerian approach requires additional closure laws to describe the particleparticle and particle

wall interactions. Recently, continuum models used kinetic theory

of granular flow which provided explicit closures that included

energy dissipation by means of restitution coefficient.

Nowadays, a great amount of attention has been paid to the

Eulerian approach by applying the kinetic theory of granular flow

for Geldart A and B particles, such as FCC catalysts. Gao et al.

[3,17] combined experimental and computational approaches to

study the hydrodynamics of the FCC particles in a turbulent fluidized bed based on the kinetic theory of granular flow within the

Eulerian model. A modified drag model was used and the results

agree with experimental data while showing that flow is more

sensitive to the restitution coefficient than to the flow model and

kinetic theory. Hosseini et al. [18] simulated the FCC particles

bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) using a state-of-the-art two-fluid

model integrating the kinetic theory of granular flow for particulate phase stresses. The study showed that the method was appropriate in simulating a gassolid fluidized bed of Geldart A

particles at high velocities (0.30.61 m/s). Hossieni et al. [19] also

applied a 2D Eulerian model including kinetic theory for the

particulate phase. Parameters such as the drag function, algebraic

and transport equations of granular temperature, frictional stress,

turbulence, and discretization scheme were studied. The results

showed that the drag model is an important hydrodynamic

parameter for gasfluidized beds and frictional stresses play an

important role for beds containing partial sparging (different distributors). Benyahia et al. [20] simulated the particles and gas

flow behavior in the riser section of a circulating fluidized bed

using kinetic theory approach. The flow profiles obtained showed

a good agreement with experimental data. Benyahia et al. stated

that the inlet and outlet designs have impacts on the overall flow

pattern while the initial condition did not have any significant

effects. Li et al. [21] used an EulerianEulerian (two-fluid) model

based on the kinetic theory of granular flow to simulate the gas

solid two-phase flow. Li et al. studied the influence of all the applicable drag laws and proposed their four-zone drag model. Their

model showed satisfactory agreement with experimental data. Li

et al concluded that the Eulerian model with kinetic theory of

granular flow based on proper drag model and particle collision

parameters can offer relatively good predictions of the gassolid

two-phase flow hydrodynamics.

The main tasks for a regenerator are to remove the carbon and

hydrogen from the catalyst surface and to heat the catalyst to a

high temperature (about 1003 C), both of which are achieved by

burning the carbon and the hydrogen. Therefore, including the

chemical reactions in the model would be beneficial. However,

most researchers either use the simplified one dimensional numerical model [22] or experimental method [2326] to analyze the

reactions inside the FCC regenerator. Only a few researchers

employed the Eulerian approach with the kinetic theory to model

flow inside industrial FCC regenerators [27,28]. However, there

are not many CFD models that include both the hydrodynamics

and the chemical reactions inside real complicated industrial

regenerators.

This paper employs CFD to simulate a commercial regenerator.

Based on the multiphase Eulerian model with kinetic theory of

granular flow, the air-catalyst two-phase flow hydrodynamics

inside the regenerator was firstly obtained, and a modified drag

model was used to calculate the gassolid interaction drag force.

The restitution coefficient was applied to define the solidsolid

collision forces. A reaction model which includes carbon and

hydrogen combustions to simulate the gas-phase reactions and

interphase reactions in the regenerator were added to the model.

The simulation results were validated by plant data.

021012-2 / Vol. 7, JUNE 2015

used in this simulation, with a Reynolds number of approximately

4 105. Gao et al. [3,17] reported that the laminar viscous model

was able to accurately describe flows in the same range of

Reynolds numbers. The laminar viscous model was applied in this

study. Almuttahar and Taghipour [29] also reported that even in

the case of high density circulating fluidized beds, a laminar

model can give better predictions of the hydrodynamics compared

to a default turbulence model. The species transport model was

used to calculate the species. A modified drag model, which will

be discussed later, was developed and used in this simulation to

calculate the gassolid interphase drag force. In the case of granular flows, the Gunn model [30] was applicable in a porosity range

of 0.351.0 and Reynolds number of up to 105. Therefore, the

Gunn model was used to calculate the heat transfer coefficient

between the gas and solid phase. The P1 radiation model was chosen to take into account the combustion thermal radiation. It is

easily implemented and computationally efficient while still offering relatively good accuracy. The heterogeneous reaction model

was used for gas-phase reactions and interphase reactions.

2.1 Conservation of Mass. Gas-phase continuity equation

@ag qg @

ag qg ugj 0

@ xj

@t

(1)

@ap qp @

ap qp upj 0

@ xj

@t

(2)

where the first term is the time rate of change of gas phase or solid

phase, and the second term is the advection of the gas phase or

solid phase. Each computational cell is shared by gas and solid

phase, and the total of solid and gas volume fraction is 1

ap ag 1

(3)

equation

@

@p @sg;ij

@

ag qg ugi

ag qg ugi ugj ag

@t

@xj

@xi

@xj

b ugi upi qg ag gi

(4)

@

@p @sp;ij

@

ap qp upi

ap qp upi upj ap

@t

@xj

@xi

@xj

b upi ugi qp ap gi

(5)

where the terms on the left hand of the equation are the time rate

of change of gas or solid phase and advection term. On the right

hand of the equation, body force (gravity, pressure), shear force

term, and phase interaction terms are considered. b is the gas

solid interphase drag coefficient.

The fluctuations that occur in the solid phase are modeled from

the kinetic theory of gases modified to account for inelastic

collisions between particles [21].

Solid-phase turbulent fluctuating energy equation

3 @ap qp H @ap qp upk H

@

@H

CH

2

@xk

@xk

@t

@xk

2

@upk

@upk @upi @upk

@upk 2

lp

pp

n p lp

c (6)

3

@xi

@xk @xi

@xk

@xk

Transactions of the ASME

(7)(17) are used in this model.

Gas-phase stress tensor

!

@ugj @ugi

(7)

sg;ij lg

@xi

@ xj

Solid-phase stress tensor

sp;ij lp

@upj @upi

@xi

@ xj

@upk

2

dij pp dij

np lp

3

@xk

(8)

(9)

@P

@

ag qg hg r ag qg hg ug ag g sg rug rqg

@t

@t

n

X

Sg

Qgp m_ gp hgp m_ pg hpg

(18)

where hg is the specific enthalpy of the gas phase, qg is the heat

flux, Sg is a source term that includes sources of enthalpy (such as

radiation), Qgp is the intensity of heat exchange between gas and

solid phases and hgp is the interphase enthalpy

Qgp Cgp Tg Tp

"

g0 1

ap

ap;max

13 #1

(10)

u0p u0p

p

2

10qp dp pH

4

lp

1 1 eg0 ap

5

961 eg0

r

4

H

a2p qp dp g0 1 e

5

p

Cgp

(11)

p

2

ap qp dp pH

2

1 1 e3e 1g0 ap

5

63 e

r

4

H

a2p qp dp g0 1 e

5

p

(20)

!

1

3

Pr

Nup 7 10af 5a2f 1 0:7Re0:2

p

(12)

(13)

r

4

H

np a2p qp dp g0 1 e

3

p

6Kg ag ap Nup

dp2

For Gunn heat transfer model [30]

lp

(19)

solid phase, which is related to the gas-phase Nusselt number,

Nup

Granular temperature

1D

(17)

p1

Solid-phase pressure

pp ap qp 1 21 eap g0 H

" r

#

4 H @upk

c 31 e2 a2p qp g0 H

dp p

@xk

(14)

1

3

p Pr

(21)

form is radiation due to combustion occurring at high temperatures near 1000 K. Therefore, thermal radiation should be considered. The radiative heat flux as a function of incident radiation

intensity in the P1 model is

qr

1

rG

3a rs Crs

(22)

where a is the absorption coefficient, rs is the scattering coefficient, G is the incident radiation, and C is the linear-anisotropic

phase function coefficient

rqr aG 4an2 rT 4

(23)

p "

2

150qp dp pH

6

CH

1 1 eg0 ap

5

3841 eg0

r

H

2a2p qp dp g0 1 e

p

energy equation to account for the heat sources due to the

radiation.

(15)

used to model the species which are involved in the chemical

reactions. For each phase k, the local mass fraction of each species, Yik , is predicted through the solution of a convectiondiffusion equation for i species. The species transport equation

can be expressed in the following form:

@ g g g

q a Yi r qg ag Yig vg r ag Jgi ag Sgi

@t

ag Rgi Rnp1 m_ pi gi m_ gi pi Rate

(24)

(16)

by chemical reactions for the gas phase, m_ pi gi is the mass transfer

p

15qp dp pH

3

CH

1 1 e2 2e 1g0 ap

5

441 32 1 e

8

33

41 1 e1 eap g0

15p

2

source between species i and j from solid phase to gas phase, Rate

is the heterogeneous reaction rate, ag is the volume fraction for

gas phase, and Sgi is the rate of creation by addition from the dispersed phase plus any user-defined sources.

The heterogeneous phase interaction reaction rates used for the

reactions [33] are

st

YNR Yi qi VOFip

103 kmol

1000 3

Rate k i1

m s

MWi

b

Tip

E

exp

kA

RTip

Tref

(25)

(26)

regenerator being studied is shown in Fig. 1. The regenerator

cylindrical vessel includes nine two-stage cyclones, one upper air

ring, one lower air ring, two spent catalyst inlets, and two regenerated catalyst outlets. The spent catalyst from the riser with certain

amount of transport air is fed into the regenerator through the

spent catalyst inlets. Air needed to fluidize the catalyst bed and to

combust the coke on the catalyst surface is injected into the regenerator through the upper and lower air ring distributors located in

the bottom. The catalysts that are carried by the gas to the top are

separated from the gas in the two-stage cyclones, and are recycled

back into the catalyst bed. The cleaned/regenerated catalysts are

removed from the regenerator through the regenerated catalyst

outlets.

Velocity (m/s)

Temperature (K)

Gas volume fraction

Solid volume fraction

Spent catalyst

inlet

Upper

air ring

Lower

air ring

Regenerated

catalyst outlet

5.6

810.8

0

1

12.9

433

1

0

15.7

433

1

0

1.1

0

1

was carried out using the commercial CFD solver FLUENT 13.0.

FLUENT uses the finite volume method [34] to solve partial differential equations by discretizing the equations over finite volumes.

The Phase Coupled SIMPLE algorithm was used to adjust the pressure and velocities after each iteration when solving the gassolid

momentum equations. Each simulation for hydrodynamics flow

was performed over 60 s of flow time, to make sure the flow had

reached quasi-steady state. For cases which include chemical

reactions, quasi-steady state was reached after approximately

20 min of flow time. The calculations were run on a high performance computing cluster at Purdue University Calumet.

3.3 Boundary and Initial Conditions. The air inlets and catalyst inlets are defined as mass flow inlets. In order to have a constant amount of the regenerated catalyst extracted from the

regenerator, the regenerated catalyst outlets were defined as mass

flow inlets, but with a directional vector pointed outward of the

outlet surface. The cyclone inlets were defined as pressure outlets

with an outside pressure of 1 atm. The walls were set as no-slip

wall boundary conditions for both the solid and gas phases. The

boundary conditions are shown in Table 1.

The catalyst particles were set as the solid phase. Air is used as

the gas phase to fluidize the catalyst particles. The gas superficial

velocities range from 0.6 m/s to 0.7 m/s. The detailed simulation

parameters used in FLUENT 13.0 are listed in Table 2. The phase

properties are shown in Table 3. A certain amount of catalyst

patched bed with solid and gas velocity zero was used as the initial condition. The catalyst bed at t 0 s is 0.3 of the total

Table 2 Detailed simulation parameters

Parameters

Gassolid two-phase flow model

Solver

Flow type

Wall boundary condition

Time step used

Maximum number of iteration

per time step

Residual convergence criteria

Pressure velocity coupling scheme

Under-relaxation factors

volume fraction

Discretization scheme

Air density

Superficial velocity

Air viscosity

Catalyst particle density

Catalyst particle mean diameter

Solid volume fraction in the bed

Gas and solid velocity

Fig. 1

EulerianEulerian model with

kinetic theory (granular)

Pressure based and transient

Laminar

No slip

0.01 s

100

103

Phase coupled SIMPLE

Pressure 0.3, momentum 0.7,

volume

fraction 0.5, granular

temperature 0.2.

0.6

First-order upwind

1.225 kg/m3

0.60.7 m/s

1.78 105 kg/(m s)

1440 kg/m3

75 lm

0.6

0

Computational domain

Material

Hydrodynamics

Gas

Solid

O2, N2

Catalyst

With reactions

Density

Viscosity

Catalyst coke hydrogen

Volume weighted mixing law

Mixing law

Gidaspow

conditions are shown in Fig. 2.

the discontinuity in the drag coefficient can be avoided. The constants u1 , u2 , u3 are the switch factors when the void fractions

ai for the dividing criteria are 0.80, 0.933, and 0.990, respectively.

are discretized using the finite volume method, the quality and

quantity of the finite volume (cells) directly influence the results.

To reduce the error created by coarse grids, a grid sensitivity study

was conducted. Two grids with 2 106 cells and 4.5 106 cells

were compared. Figure 3 shows the comparison of the solid volume fraction profiles obtained using both grids at flow time of

30 s. The 4.5 106 cell mesh has a better mesh quality compared

to the 2 106 one, but the solid volume fraction profiles along the

regenerator height are almost the same, which means the 2 106

cell mesh can catch the flow hydrodynamics characteristics very

well. The computational run time needed for the 4.5 106 cell

mesh is almost twice that of the 2 106 cell. Thus, the 2 106

cell mesh was used for this study.

4.2 GasSolid Flow Hydrodynamics. Drag force between

gas phase and particle phase plays an important role in the gas

solid multiphase flow hydrodynamics [21], thus modeling the drag

force correctly in simulation to predict the flow pattern is also of

great significance. Many researchers developed their drag models

for the gassolid two-phase interaction, such as the SyamlalOBrien drag model [32], the Gidaspow [31] drag model, the Wen

and Yu [35] drag model, the McKeen drag model [36] and the

modified drag model by Gao et al. [3,17,21]. In the modified drag

model by Gao et al., the flow is divided into four zones based on

the void fraction (ag 0.8, 0.8 < ag < 0.933, 0.933 < ag < 0.990,

and 0.990 < ag < 1.00). Each zone has its own equation of drag

force coefficient. Therefore, the modified drag model is called the

four-zone drag model. The modified drag model considers the

effect of particle clustering in the dense and subdense zones by

assuming an effective particle cluster diameter of 300 lm. Using a

weighted average of four scales equation [3,4,21]

ui

0:5

p

(28)

force coefficient. The drag model sensitivity study was carried out

by applying each existing drag model to the regenerator CFD

model, then comparing the results of phase density with plant data

to decide which one to use. The modified drag model is not readily available in FLUENT, so a customized script was written to

incorporate it into the model. According to Fig. 4, in terms of the

solid volume fraction at different heights in the FCC regenerator,

the modified drag model with a mean effective cluster diameter of

dp 300 lm [37] in the dense zone and an effective diameter of

dp0 150 lm in the dilute zone gives better predictions compared

to the other drag models for this gassolid two-phase flow. For

example, at the tangential line level, the solid volume fraction predicted by the modified drag model is around 0.26, which is close

to the real time operation plant data 0.3. The SyamlalOBrien

drag model, Gidaspow drag model, McKeen drag model overpredicted the value. Based on the total solid catalyst and gas mass

flow rates (which cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality) going

through the cyclones measured in the real regenerator, the solid

volume fraction in the dilute zone, the solid volume fraction is

approximately 0.01.

As shown in Fig. 5, the solid volume fraction distribution on

the vertical plane in the regenerator for the results from the modified drag model show four distinct zones: dense phase, subdense

phase, dilute phase, and subdiluter phase, which agree with the

research conducted by Gao et al. [3,17]. The bottom dense catalyst

bed has high solid volume fraction that is around 0.6, while the

top dilute zone has low volume fraction below 0.1. The fluidized

catalyst bed has an average solid volume fraction around 0.35.

b 1 u1 b1 u1 f1 u2 b2 u2 1 u3 b3 u3 b4 g

(27)

height by using different mesh sizes

the regenerator is to recover the reactivity of the catalysts by

removing the coke and hydrogen on the surface, the gassolid

hydrodynamics multiphase model was then modified to include

the reaction model to simulate the coke with hydrogen and air

combustion reactions. The global reactions considered in this

model are carbon oxidation, hydrogen combustion, and CO combustion. The global reaction mechanisms are listed below and the

kinetic constants are listed in Table 5 [4143]

height by using different drag models

Figure 6 shows the average solid volume fractions on five different heights over time. It can be seen that the fluidized bed has

reached quasi-steady state after 40 s, which is a distinctive characteristic of the BFB and circulation fluidized bed [40]. According

to Fig. 7, the average solid volume fraction along the normalized

regenerator height presents a four-region regenerator, which has a

high solid volume fraction dense bed, subdense bed, low solid volume fraction subdense zone, and a dilute zone. The spike line at

the height around h/H 0.9 is due to the solid catalyst accumulation on the top of the cyclones. The low velocity in the dilute zone

allows the solid catalyst to settle and accumulate on the top of the

cyclones. The predicted solid volume fraction profile in the regenerator shows 0.3 at the tangential line level and 0.01 at the cyclone

inlet level, which matches with plant data. In the real operation,

there are two pressure taps used to measure the pressure located at

h/H 0.83 and h/H 0.13 normalized heights. In normal operation, the pressure drop measured between h/H 0.83 and

h/H 0.13 ranges from 65 to 80 in. water. The pressure drop predicted by the CFD model is approximately 71 in. water which is

within the range.

C 1=2 O2 ! CO

(R1)

C O2 ! CO2

(R2)

CO 1=2 O2 ! CO2

(R3)

H 1=4 O2 ! 1=2 H2 O

(R4)

The kinetic parameters for reactions (R1) and (R2) listed in Table

5 are obtained from the experimental work done by Kanervo et al.

[41], in which reaction rates of combustion of coke on FCC solid

catalyst particles to produce CO and CO2 in a reactor were measured. The kinetic parameters from the experimental work of

hydrogen combustion in carbonaceous deposits on zeolite-type

cracking catalysts reported by Wang et al. [42] was used for the

hydrogen combustion (R4). The kinetics for the CO combustion is

adopted from the work by Dryer and Glassman [43]. This kinetics

does not include the effects of CO combustion promoter which is

used in the actual regenerator operations.

According to the plant measurement, the catalyst used for this

simulation contains 1% coke on its surface, with carbon counting

for 92% and the remaining 8% is hydrogen. The reacting flow

model was developed by incorporating the reaction model with

the kinetic constants listed in Table 5 into the hydrodynamics

model. The results of the flow hydrodynamics, temperature fields

and species concentrations are presented in Figs. 810.

Figure 8 shows the gas temperature change with time from the

initial operation condition to the steady state. It indicates that the

temperature changes rapidly during the first 500 s, then increases

slowly and reaches a steady state after 1000 s. In addition, the

temperatures at different heights indicate that the temperature in

the dense bed is lower than temperature in the dilute phase with a

difference around 20 K. Catalyst temperature is very important to

the crude oil cracking process which occurs in the riser part of an

FCC process. Catalysts leaving the regenerator with low temperature could indicate low coke removal efficiency and may not be

able to crack crude oil in the riser part effectively. However,

Void fraction

0.80

qg ap up ug

dp

ag dp 2

ap ag qg up ug

5

b2 CD

72

dp 1 ag 0:293

Ergun [38]

0.80.933

b1 150

ZP

0.9330.990

0.9901.00

ap 1 ag lg

1:75

8

24

>

<

1 0:15Re0:867

Rep 1000

ap ag dp ug up

p

Rep

CD

Re

p

>

lg

: 0:44

Rep 1000

ap ag qg up ug 2:65

3

ag

b3 CD

4

dp0

ap qg up ug

3

b 4 CD

4

dp0

8

24

>

<

1 0:15Re0:867

Rep 1000

ap ag dp0 ug up

p

Rep

CD

Re

p

>

lg

: 0:44

Rep 1000

catalysts leaving the regenerator with high temperature can potentially damage the catalysts reactivity and cyclones.

The gas temperature contours and average gas temperature

plots in Fig. 9 show the temperature above the dense catalyst bed

is higher than in the bed. The unburned CO produced in the fluidization bed enters into the dilute zone where it is burned. Unlike

in the dense bed, where most of the energy released from any

combustion is absorbed by the solid due to the high solid concentration, most of the heat released by any combustion in the dilute

zone goes to the gas. Temperature contour plots in Fig. 9(a) show

a temperature difference, higher on one side of the regenerator

and lower on the other side. This is due to the opening direction of

the catalyst and air inlets. Figure 9(b) shows the mass-weighted

average temperature at different levels along the regenerator

heights. At the fluidized bed, the average temperature is around

1010 K. The temperature drops are due to the input of low temperature air. Temperature increases from 1010 K to 1026 K gradually

above the fluidized bed. Between the level h/H 0.6 and

h/H 0.8, the gas temperature stabilizes. The sudden drop of temperature at the top of the regenerator is due to the cyclones into

which high temperature gas flows.

Fig. 7 Average solid volume fraction and pressure drop profiles along regenerator height

concentrations along the whole regenerator height. From Fig. 10,

the major species is CO2, which increases above the dense bed.

Oxygen decreases greatly above the lower air ring, and decreases

further to a very small percentage above the upper air ring. The

rapid decrease of O2 indicates that reactions occurred in the bed.

According to Table 6, the air-catalyst two-phase flow hydrodynamics can be validated. The bed height and total catalyst mass

inside of the regenerator cannot be directly measured, but they

can be estimated by measuring the pressure drop inside the regenerator. Pressure drop between two locations at different heights

Table 5 Reaction heat and kinetics

Reactions

R1

R2

R3

R4

Fig. 6

Heat of

reaction

(kJ/mol)

Pre-exponential

factor, (A)

Activation

energy,

E (J/mol)

118

403

283

600

0.376 108 s1 atm1

0.149 1012 kg1 m3 atm2

3.3 1007 kg1s1 atm1

159,000

110,000

212,000

157,700

Fig. 8

(one in the dense zone and the other in the dilute zone) inside the

regenerator is measured during the regenerator operation. The

error of the pressure drop calculated by the model relative to the

average of the pressure drop range of the actual regenerator is 4%.

The cyclone circulation is the total amount of catalysts that pass

through the cyclones, which shows a 2.74% error compared to the

plant data.

The temperatures calculated by the simulation agree with the

temperature measured at the plant. The relative errors of the temperatures in the dense zone and in the dilute zone are 0.50% and

0.29%, respectively. The volume fraction of CO2 in the gas at the

outlet (cyclone inlets) predicted by the model is very close to the

measured value at the plant (1.2% relative error). The relative

error of CO is high. However, it is important to note that the CO

concentration at the cyclone inlets is extremely low. This high relative error of CO concentration is due to the fact that the kinetics

for the CO combustion used in the model does not take into

account any CO combustion promoters. In the real operations, CO

combustion promoters are added into the catalyst bed to promote

CO combustion in the dense bed. It is desired to have as much CO

as possible burned inside the dense bed thus the amount of CO

that goes CO combustion in the dilute zone can be minimized. As

mentioned earlier, any heat released in the dilute zone can significantly increase the gas temperature which could potentially damage the cyclones. The C reduction rate is calculated as the ratio of

the mass fraction of C on the catalyst surface at the regenerated

catalyst outlets to the mass fraction of C at the catalyst inlets. The

relative error of the C reduction rate predicted by the model is

1.7%. Despite the large relative error of the predicted CO

Table 6 Relative errors of the simulation results when compared to plant data

Relative error (5)

Fig. 9 (a) Gas temperature contours and (b) average gas temperature at time 1000 s

Catalyst circulation

Dense zone temperature

Dilute zone temperature

DP (inH2O)

C reduction rate (%)

Volume fraction at outlets

CO

CO2

O2 (vol. %)

2.74

0.50

0.29

4.0

1.7

8881.8

1.2

14.9

predict the C reduction rate and the flow distribution (based on the

comparison of the pressure drop inside the regenerator and the

catalyst mass flow rate which passes through the cyclones).

Conclusions

based on the Eulerian model with kinetic theory of granular flow

was conducted. A three-dimensional industrial regenerator simulation was carried out using the commercial software FLUENT. A

modified drag model with effective particle grouping size 300 lm

in the dense phase and 150 lm in the dilute phase was used to calculate the drag force between the gas and solid. The Eulerian multiphase model with two-phase hydrodynamics and heterogeneous

combustion was developed to simulate the chemical reactions

inside of the regenerator. The developed model can predict the

flow field with species and temperature details. The simulation

results were validated by plant data.

Nomenclature

A

C

CD

Cfr

dp

dps

dp*

e

g

g

g0

h

H

mp

ms

m0

M

MWi

n

p

pC,ps

r

R

Re

Re

Rep

S

st

T

Tip

Tref

u

u

umf

VOFip

Yi

qip

cross-sectional area, m2

correction coefficient

drag coefficient

friction coefficient

diameter of particle, m

average diameter of particle, m

particle effective mean diameter in dense bed, m

restitution coefficient

gravity acceleration, m/s2

mass, kg

radial distribution function

height

regenerator height

single particle mass of phase p, kg

single particle mass of phase s, kg

total mass, kg

phase number

molecular weight of species i

volumetric particle number

pressure, Pa

collision part of particle phase pressure, s

radial coordinate

bed radius, m

bed expansion number

Reynolds number

cluster Reynolds number

number of solid phase

stoichiometric coefficient of reactants

time, mean residence time of binary mixture, s

phase temperature

reference temperature (298 K)

velocity, m/s

superficial gas velocity, m/s

minimum fluidization velocity, m/s

volumetric fraction of phase ip

species i mass fraction

bulk density of phase ip

Greek Symbols

a

ai

b

c

Cdil,h

CH

e

emf

volume fraction

void fraction for the dividing criteria

interphase momentum exchange coefficient, kg/m3 s

dissipation of energy fluctuation, kg s3/m

dilute diffusion coefficient for energy fluctuation, kg s/m

diffusion coefficient for the energy fluctuation, kg s/m

mean void fraction of dense phase

bed voidage at minimum fluidization velocity

g

H

Hp,av

ldil,p

lp

n

q

q

s

segregation efficiency

granular temperature, m2/s2

average granular temperature, m2/s2

particle phase dilute viscosity, Pa s

particle phase shear viscosity, Pa s

solid bulk viscosity, Pa s

density, kg/m3

mean bed density of dense phase, kg/m3

stress tensor, Pa

Subscripts

g

i, j, k

m

NR

p

s

S

gas phase

direction coordinate

phase m

total number of reactants

particle phase

solid phase

solid-phase number

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