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F. Chejne

*

, J.P. Hernandez

Energy and Thermodynamics Institute, Universidad Ponti®cia Bolivariana, Circular 1#73-34 Medellin, AA 56006, Colombia

Received 5 September 2001; revised 14 January 2002; accepted 23 January 2002; available online 22 February 2002

Abstract

A one-dimensional steady state mathematical model and a numerical algorithm have been developed to simulate the coal gasi®cation

process in ¯uidised bed. The model incorporates two phases, the solid and the gas. The gaseous phase participates in the emulsion (with the

solid phase) and forms the bubble. The solid phase is composed of carbonaceous material, limestone and/or inert bed material. The model can

predict temperature, converted fraction, and particle size distribution for the solid phase. For the gaseous phase, in both emulsion and bubble,

it can predict pro®les of temperature, gas composition, velocities, and other ¯uid-dynamic parameters. In the feed zone, a Gaussian

distribution for the solid particle size is considered. This distribution changes due to attrition, elutriation, consumption and drag inside

the reactor. Asystemof 29 differential and 10 non-linear equations, derived from the mass, energy and momentum balances for each phase, at

any point along the bed height, are solved by the Gear and Adams Method. Experimental data from the Universidad de Antioquia and

Universidad Nacional-Medellin have been used to validate the model. Finally, the model can be used to optimise the gasi®cation process by

varying several parameters, such as excess of air, particle size distribution, coal type, and geometry of the reactor. q 2002 Published by

Elsevier Science Ltd.

Keywords: Gasi®cation; Mathematical model; Fluidised beds

1. Introduction

Coal has been used as one of the most important energy

sources in Colombian industry over the years. Nearly 80%

of all industries use coal; textile, food, beer, and steel indus-

tries are the most relevant for the coal market in Colombia.

Some coal ®elds are situated near the main industrial cities,

thus coal has a low price compared to other fuels. Although

the sulphur and moisture percent in Colombian coal are

relatively low, coal combustion can be a more critical

process, from an environmental point of view, than other

fuels or processes. Thus, Colombian government and

universities are interested in developing technology to

increase the use of coal in the country in a clean and ef®cient

way.

Gasi®cation technology is being developed to provide

environmentally clean and ef®cient power generation from

fuels such as coal, biomass and oil residues. Modelling and

simulation tools are increasingly popular with plant

operators and contractors to assist with design, analysis

and optimisation of gasi®cation and combustion processes.

The application of mathematical modelling in coal gasi®ca-

tion is fairly new compared to that in coal combustion

processes.

Moreea-Taha [1] described how mathematical modelling

can help in understanding the combustion and gasi®cation

processes, and the use of modelling as a predictive tool, such

as in pollutant emission prediction. He used one-

dimensional and three-dimensional ¯uid dynamics models

with some assumptions, such as simpli®ed chemical reac-

tions. de Souza-Santos [2±4] developed a comprehensive

mathematical model and computer program, to use as a

tool for engineering design and operation optimisation, by

predicting the behaviour of a real unit during steady-state

operation. Chejne et al. [5] developed a comprehensive

mathematical model to predict the behaviour of coal

combustion and gasi®cation on stacks in non-stationary

operation. Skala and Kuzmanovic [6] presented a paper

with information about heterogeneous gas±solid reactions

and a mathematical model of the coal gasi®cation reaction.

The model by de Souza-Santos [2±4] is regarded as

complete and it includes the conservation equations for

the emulsion phase and bubbles, empirical equations for

hydrodynamics, and it also includes a through mass balance

which considers that both drying and volatilisation are not

instantaneous. This latter aspect is not included in our

present work because we have realised, based on experi-

mental results, that both drying and volatilisation take

Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702

0016-2361/02/$ - see front matter q 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

PII: S0016-2361(02)00036-4

www.fuel®rst.com

* Corresponding author. Tel.: 1574-412-5246; fax: 1574-411-1207.

E-mail address: fchejne@janua.upb.edu.co (F. Chejne).

q

Published ®rst on the web via Fuel®rst.comÐhttp://www.fuel®rst.com

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1688

Nomenclature

a speci®c area

a

j

¯uid-dynamic constants values

A area

A

dens;p

constants for the solid±gas reaction rate (p = 1, 2)

A

tt;i

attrition fraction for i-level

A

rr;i

drag fraction for i-level

B

p

devolatilisation kinetic coef®cient (p = 1,¼,13)

b

j;m

viscosity constants of the jth component

c

j;m

conductivity constants of the jth component

C carbon fraction

C

p

speci®c heat

d

j;m

binary diffusion coef®cient constants of the jth

component

D diameter

D

ij

binary diffusion coef®cient between the ith and

jth component

D

j;M

diffusion coef®cient of the jth component in the

mixture

e

j;m

speci®c heat constants of the jth component

f remaining solid fraction in the bed

f

s

vol

volumetric solid fraction

F ¯ow rate

g gravity acceleration

h convection heat transfer coef®cient

h

m

convection mass transfer coef®cient

H enthalpy

H

y

hydrogen fraction

DH

f

0

formation enthalpy

K kinetic coef®cient

L height of the reactor

M

i

mass of i-level

M

rem

mass of solids in bed

M

T

kinetic constant for the solid±gas reaction rate

MM

i

molecular mass

n total number of level in the particle size distri-

bution

Nu Nusselt number

nr

gg

total number of gas±gas reactions

nr

gs

total number of gas±solid reactions

O oxygen fraction

Pr Prandt number

Q heat ¯ux

R

p

reaction rate for the p-reaction (p = 1,¼,10)

R

T

total heat resistance

R

mT

total mass resistance

r

gg;i

gas±gas reaction rate for each specie i

r

gs;i

gas±solid reaction rate for each specie i

Re Reynolds number

S sulphur fraction

Sh

j

Sherwood number for the jth component

T temperature

t

w

reactor wall thickness

u velocity

V volume

W

i

mass fraction of i-level

x molar fraction

y mass fraction

Greek letters

a combustion kinetic coef®cient

b combustion kinetic coef®cient

1 porosity

G solid friability coef®cient

l conductivity

m viscosity

r density

r

app

coal apparent density

r

real

coal real density

n

i;gg

stoichiometric coef®cient of each specie i in the

gas±gas reactions

n

i;gs

stoichiometric coef®cient of each specie i in the

gas±solid reactions

Subscripts

arf inert material

ave average between diameters

b bubble

cal limestone

e emulsion

feed conditions at the feeding point

g gaseous phase

ge gas in emulsion

inf relative to the inferior level

in conditions inside the reactor

i CO

2

, CO, O

2

, N

2

, H2

O

, H

2

, CH

4

, SO

2

, NO

X

, C

2

H

6

,

H

2

S, NH

3

in emulsion

k CO

2

, CO, O

2

, N

2

, H

2

O, H

2

, CH

4

, SO

2

, NO

X

,

C

2

H

6

, H

2

S, NH

3

in bubble

M average value

mc carbonaceous material

mf minimum ¯uidisation conditions

or relative to the holes on the plate

out conditions out the reactor

p relative to the solid particles

pl relative to the plate

r reactor

s solid

sup relative to the superior level

t terminal conditions

w reactor wall

place very quickly when the gasi®cation or combustion

occurs in a ¯uidised bed. Therefore we decided to consider

both processes as instantaneous and to include the species

released [7] as a mass source term in the mass conservation

equations.

Ross et al. [8] investigated the time required for devola-

tilisation of large coal particle in a ¯uidised-bed operating at

750, 850, and 950 8C and in gas environments simulating

pyrolysis, combustion, and gasi®cation conditions. From

this work, we can see that the particle less than 6 mm

need less than 10 s. Our experiments in pilot plant were

performed with particles of average diameter of about

1 mm, so we expect even shorter volatilisation times.

These works and other more recent ones such as the work

by Ciesielcyk and Gawdzik [9], Guo and Chan [10], and

Chen et al. [11] use the classical equations of continuity and

energy in a way similar to that one described in the present

work. The great majority of coal gasi®cation models in

¯uidised beds use empirical correlations to describe the

¯uid dynamics inside the reactor, thus they avoid the solu-

tion of the momentum equations as it is proposed in this

paper.

Darton et al. [12] described the phenomenon related with

bubbles growth due to coalescence in ¯uidised bed by using

a simple theory which gives an empirical equation for the

bubble diameter. Coronella et al. [13] have studied the slug-

ging of ¯uidised beds by using a new method based on

detecting pressure drop ¯uctuations.

We have tested several of these aforementioned empirical

equations in order to avoid the solution of the momentum

equation and to know the behaviour of the gasi®cation

process.

Our main contribution to the prediction of coal gasi®ca-

tion in ¯uidised beds is to develop an original proposal

which includes the evolution of particles distribution inside

the reactor starting from an initial Gaussian distribution of

the ¯ow of coal fed into the equipment. Another important

contribution made in the present work is to use the non-

linear conservation equations in compact form which have

allowed us to obtain an ef®cient numerical solution with fast

convergence and minimisation of the numerical error.

In our algorithm for the numerical solution we have used

the subroutine DIVPAG from the IMSL ver. 3.0 to evaluate

the transport coef®cients such as the diffusivity of species in

the mixture, the thermal conductivity of gases, and the visc-

osity of gases as a function of temperature. These calcula-

tions were performed for each of the chemical species and

also for the mixture which has led to numerical predictions

that agree very well with experimental results as can be seen

in ®gures presented in the paper.

Adanez [14] developed a model considering the hydro-

dynamic behaviour of a turbulent circulating ¯uidised bed,

the kinetics of coal combustion and sulphur retained in the

riser. They have also used empirical equations to include the

hydrodynamics of a turbulent bed just as we had done in this

paper.

Adanez et al. [14] made a population balance of each

family of char particles in order to perform the carbon

mass balances in a bed with shrinking particles. In the

present work, a distribution function (Fig. 3) which changed

during the process due to several mechanisms such as attri-

tion, elutration, drag, and chemical reaction processes was

taken, thus achieving a better approach for modelling and

understanding the actual combustion phenomena.

Huilin et al. [15] developed a steady state model for a coal

®red circulating ¯uidised bed boiler which included the

hydrodynamics, heat transfer and combustion and analysed

both the dense zone and the dilute region in the furnace.

They also used empirical equations for the hydrodynamics

in the ¯uidised bed and a model of one ¯uid without taking

into account the possible variation of gas temperature inside

the furnace.

Kim et al. [16] proposed a mathematical model to predict

gasi®cation in an internally circulating ¯uidised bed reactor

with draught tube, based on hydrodynamics, reaction

kinetics and empirical correlations for pyrolysis. They

were not able to predict neither the temperature pro®les

nor the gas concentration inside the bed, nevertheless their

results and predictions were reasonably accurate.

The main characteristics and advantages of the coal gasi-

®cation model (MGC) described in this paper are:

1. One-dimensional and steady-state.

2. It includes two ¯uids; emulsion and bubble; and two

phases; gas and solid.

3. The emulsion is formed by gas and solids.

4. The bubble is considered free of solid particles, there-

fore it is formed only by gas.

5. The solid is considered isothermal and the consumption

uniform through the bed height.

6. The mass and heat transfer between solid and gas in the

emulsion, are considered. This is also true for the mass

and heat transfer between the emulsion gas and the

bubble (mass or heat transfer between solid and bubble

are NOT considered).

7. Attrition, elutriation and drag are included for solid

phase.

8. Reaction models are used for homogeneous (gas±gas)

and heterogeneous (gas±solid) chemical reactions.

9. Devolatilisation and drying are considered instanta-

neous in the feed zone.

10. The gasi®cation process can be achieved with stream

(H

2

O) or with carbon dioxide (CO

2

).

11. A partial differential equation for mass and heat trans-

fer, for each component in the gas and solid phases, is

derived and solved.

12. Experimental correlations for the ¯uid-dynamic para-

meters are used.

13. Chemical reactions, convection and diffusion are

included in the differential equations for the gas and

solid phases. The energy equations for both phases are

coupled by convection phenomena on the surface of the

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1689

particles. Inside each equation, the mass and heat trans-

fer coef®cients are also calculated.

2. Mathematical model

The proposed model is applied to solid particles

submerged in a ¯uidiser gas. The solids (coal, limestone,

inert material) enter into the reactor at the feed point; the

type of coal, initial particle size distribution and composi-

tion of solids; i.e. coal, limestone and sand percentages; are

given at this point. The gas (air, stream, carbon dioxide)

enters through the bottom of the reactor, its inlet composi-

tion and temperature must be speci®ed (Fig. 1).

At the feeding point a Gaussian distribution is assumed

for the solid material; for each element an average diameter

is calculated. Inside the reactor, the shape of the distribution

is conserved but the average diameter changes due to attri-

tion, elutriation, consumption, and drag. Attrition only

affects the size of the particles, on the other hand, elutria-

tion, consumption and drag also affect the total mass of the

element (Fig. 2).

The bubble is considered a ¯uid, that increases the energy

and mass transfer inside the reactor. The bubble helps the

solids homogenisation and its presence increases the process

ef®ciency and performance. The bridge between the solid

and bubble is the gas in the emulsion, because it exchanges

mass and energy with both solids and bubble; while these

only exchange mass and energy with the gas in the emulsion

(Fig. 3).

A system of several chemical reactions for the solid and

gaseous phase were included. The drying, devolatisation

and limestone reactions are considered as instantaneous

phenomena at the feeding point. The solid phase is con-

sidered independent of the axial co-ordinate. As a conse-

quence, temperature, consumption fraction and composition

are constant in the reactor. The gaseous phase changes at

any point along the bed height. This consideration allows

the mass and energy equations to be derived.

The mass and heat transfer coef®cients are calculated

using experimental correlations from several references.

Speci®c heat, conductivity, viscosity and binary diffusion

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1690

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the reactor.

Fig. 2. Schematic view of the particle size distribution.

Fig. 3. Phases, ¯uids and exchanges in the MGC.

coef®cients, for each component in the gas phase are cal-

culated as a function of temperature at each point, and the

mixture's properties are then calculated. Table 1 summarises

the most important coef®cients of the MGC model.

2.1. Basic equations

The mass balance for the gas phase in the emulsion

requires that the variation of each component along the

axial direction is equivalent to the generation (or consump-

tion) from the heterogeneous and homogeneous reaction

and the exchange by convection with the bubble,

d(r

ge

u

ge

y

i

)

dz

= r

gg;i

dV

g

dz

1h

m;i

[y

e;i

2y

b;i

]r

g

dA

b

dz

1r

gs;i

dA

s

dz

(1)

where the reaction rate for each species i due to gas±gas and

gas±solid reactions (Table 2) can be expressed like,

r

gg;i

=

¸

nr

gg

gg=1

r

gg;i

n

i;gg

MM

i

(2)

r

gs;i

=

¸

nr

gs

gs=1

r

gs;i

n

i;gs

MM

i

(3)

For the gas in the bubble, the variation in the composition is

due to the generation (or consumption) from the homoge-

neous reaction and by the exchange through convection with

the gas in the emulsion,

d(r

b

u

b

y

k

)

dz

= r

gg;k

dV

b

dz

2h

m;k

[y

e;i

2y

b;k

]r

g

dA

b

dz

(4)

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1691

Table 1

Equations for the physical properties

Equation Unit Reference

h

m;k

= 2

u

mf

D

b

1

12

D

3=2

b

D

k;M

1

mf

u

b

p

1=2

1 s

21

[2±4]

Sh

j

= 21

mf

1

4D

p

1

mf

u

b

pD

j;M

1=2

± [2±4]

h

g±b

=

u

mf

r

ge

Cp

g;M

3

12

l

g;M

1

mf

u

b

r

ge

Cp

g;M

D

b

1=2

W m

22

K

21

[20]

h

g±s

=

Nul

g;M

D

p

W m

22

K

21

[2±4]

Nu = 0:4

Re

1

2=3

Pr

1=3 ± [2±4]

ln(m

j

) = b

j;0

1b

j;1

ln(T

g

) 1b

j;2

ln(T

g

)

2

1b

j;3

ln(T

g

)

3

N s m

22

[17,31]

ln(l

j

) = c

j;0

1c

j;1

ln(T

g

) 1c

j;2

ln(T

g

)

2

1c

j;3

ln(T

g

)

3

W m

21

K

21

[17,31]

ln(D

ij

) = d

ij;0

1d

ij;1

ln(T

g

) 1d

ij;2

ln(T

g

)

2

1d

ij;3

ln(T

g

)

3

m

2

s

21

[17,31]

Cp

j

= e

j;0

1e

j;1

(T

g

) 1e

j;2

(T

g

)

2

1e

j;3

(T

g

)

3

1e

j;4

(T

g

)

4

J kg

21

K

21

[32]

m

g;M

=

¸

12

i=1

m

i

1 1

¸

k±i

x

k

x

i

F

ik

N s m

22

[17,31]

l

g;M

=

¸

12

i=1

l

i

1 1

¸

k±i

x

k

1:065F

ik

W m

21

K

21

[17,31]

D

M

i

=

1 2w

i

¸

k±i

x

k

D

ik

m

2

s

21

[17,31]

F

ik

=

1

2

2

1 1

M

i

M

k

1=2

1 1

m

i

m

k

1=2

M

i

M

k

1=4

2

± [17,31]

Due to the homogeneity and isothermal conditions for the

solid phase (coal, limestone and/or inert material), the mass

balance is global and is integrated over the volume of the

reactor. For the coal, the difference between the inlet and

outlet ¯ow is equivalent to the oxygen and gasi®cation reac-

tions in the reactor,

F

mc;out

2F

mc;in

=

¸L

0

r

i

sg;mc

(1 21)A

r

f

Vol

mc

dz (5)

The mass balance for the limestone requires that the rate of

generation (or consumption) due to sulphur reactions is

equivalent to the differences between the inlet and outlet

¯ow,

F

cal;out

2F

cal;in

=

¸L

0

r

i

sg;cal

(1 21)A

r

f

Vol

cal

dz (6)

Finally, the inlet and outlet ¯ow for the inert material are

equal,

F

arf;out

2F

arf;in

= 0 (7)

For the gaseous phase; in both emulsion and bubble; the

differential energy balance considers that the change in

enthalpy along the axial direction is equivalent to the

exchange by convection with the solid phase, with the

other ¯uid (either emulsion or bubble) and the energy losses

through the reactor wall. In consequence, the energy balance

for the gas in emulsion is

d(r

ge

u

ge

H

ge

)

dz

= h

g±b

[T

b

2T

ge

]

dA

b

dz

1h

g±s

[T

s

2T

ge

]

dA

s

dz

1

[T

ge

2T

out

]

R

T

(8)

where the equivalent resistance for heat transfer includes

convection inside and outside the reactor and the conduction

through the reactor wall,

R

T

=

1

pDzNu

in

l

g;M

1

ln((D

r

1t

w

)=D

r

)

2pDzl

w

1

1

pDz(D

r

1t

w

)h

out

(9)

For the gas in the bubble the balance is

d(r

b

u

b

H

b

)

dz

= 2h

g±b

[T

b

2T

ge

]

dA

b

dz

(10)

The enthalpy in Eqs. (8) and (10) consider changes in

temperature and consumption (or generation) due to the

chemical reactions [17] from the mass balance represented

by the formation enthalpy of each component,

H

j

=

¸

m

y

m

DH

0

f;m

1C

p;m

T

j

=

¸

m

y

m

H

m

(11)

where j represents the gas in emulsion or bubble, and m

represents the ith or kth component of the speci®c ¯uid.

Expanding the left hand side of Eqs. (8) and (10) and by

substitution of the enthalpy de®nition (Eq. (11)) in the

resulting expression, we obtain the reaction energy term.

See appendix 1 for details. v.g. The energy generated due

to chemical reactions is appreciated by taking the derivative

of Eq. (8),

d(r

ge

u

ge

H

ge

)

dx

=

d r

ge

u

ge

¸

i

y

i

H

i

dx

=

¸

i

H

i

d(r

ge

u

ge

y

i

)

dx

1

¸

i

(r

ge

u

ge

y

i

)

dH

i

dx

(12)

By using mass balance equation (e.g. Eq. (1)), enthalpy

equation (Eq. (11)) and by introducing in the latter

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1692

Table 2

Chemical reactions

Reaction Type Chemical reaction Reference

1 Solid±gas C 1aO

2

- (2b 21)CO

2

1(2 22b)CO [2±4]

2 Solid±gas C 1H

2

O - CO 1H

2

MGC model

C 1CO

2

- 2CO

3 Solid±gas Volatile - B

1

CO

2

1B

2

CO 1B

3

O

2

1B

4

N

2

1B

5

H

2

O 1B

6

H

2

1B

7

CH

4

1B

8

SO

2

1

B

9

NO 1B

10

C

2

H

6

1B

11

H

2

S 1B

12

NH

3

1B

13

Tar

[2±4]

4 Solid±gas Carbonaceous material - C 1H

2

O [2±4]

5 Gas±gas CO 1H

2

O - CO

2

1H

2

O [2±4]

6 Gas±gas 2CO1O

2

- 2CO

2

[2±4]

7 Gas±gas 2H

2

1O

2

- 2H

2

O [2±4]

8 Gas±gas CH

4

12O

2

- CO

2

12H

2

O [2±4]

9 Gas±gas 2C

2

H

6

17O

2

- 4CO

2

16H

2

O [2±4]

10 Gas±gas 4NH

3

15O

2

- 4NO 16H

2

O [2±4]

equations we obtain,

d(r

ge

u

ge

H

ge

)

dx

=

¸

i

H

i

r

gg;i

dV

g

dz

1h

m;i

[y

e;i

2y

b;i

]r

g

dA

b

dz

1r

gs;i

dA

s

dz

¸ ¸

1

¸

i

(r

ge

u

ge

y

i

)

dH

dx

(13)

also,

d(r

ge

u

ge

H

ge

)

dx

=

¸

i

H

i

r

gg;i

dV

g

dz

1h

m;i

[y

e;i

2y

b;i

]r

g

dA

b

dz

1r

gs;i

dA

s

dz

¸ ¸

1

¸

i

(r

ge

u

ge

y

i

)

d(C

pi

T)

dx

(14)

In this way we have proved that the heat of reaction is

included in our model. A similar approach can be made

for Eq. (10).

The global energy balance for the solid phase considers

the inlet and outlet ¯ow plus the total of the chemical reac-

tions inside the reactor,

(FH)

mc;out

2(FH)

mc;in

=

¸L

0

Q

sg

dz

¸ ¸

A

r

f

mc

(15)

where the inlet enthalpy of the carbonaceous material is a

function of the coal's chemical characterisation [18,19],

H

mc;in

= 80:8(C) 1344 (Hy) 2

(O)

8

122:2(S)

4186:8

(16)

and,

Q

sg

= h

g±s

(T

s

2T

ge

)

dA

s

dz

(17)

In addition to the balance equations the gas volume varia-

tion and the surface area of the solids and bubble (with

respect to the axial co-ordinate) are used. These parameters

are connected with the area of each ¯uid, diameters and

porosity in the following way,

dV

g

dz

= A

e

1

ge

;

dA

s

dz

= A

e

(1 21

ge

)af

vol

s

;

dA

b

dz

= A

b

6

D

b

(18)

2.2. Fluid dynamics

The ¯uid-dynamic phenomena involved in the process is

too complicated to be studied in analytic form. Therefore,

equations in the model are experimental correlations from

different sources. The most important parameters in the

¯uidisation process are the velocities and diameters of the

different phases and ¯uids.

In order to maintain a ¯uidised bed, the conditions of

minimum ¯uidisation must be satis®ed. This means that

the drag force, from the ¯uid in motion, has to overwhelm

the weight of the solid particles. In this way, levitation of the

solids is achieved. The minimum gas velocity for ¯uidisa-

tion is de®ned when drag force and weight of the solid

particles are equivalent. This is the limit between a ®xed

and the ¯uidised bed. To ®nd this velocity, the minimum

¯uidisation Reynolds number has to be calculated. Here in

the MGC model the Wen and Yun [4] correlation is used,

Re

mf

= a

2

1

1

a

2

D

3

p

r

g

g(r

mc

2r

g

)

m

2

g

¸

0:5

2a

1

(19)

where a

1

= 25:25 and a

2

= 0:0651 from the experimental

work with coals by Babu [20]. Using this Reynolds number,

the minimum ¯uidisation velocity can be obtained by:

u

mf

=

Re

mf

m

g

D

p

r

g

(20)

The diameters of the solid particles inside the reactor will

decrease due to combustion, gasi®cation, and attrition.

Some diameters will be so small that the ¯uid will arrive

at the terminal velocity of these particles. The terminal

velocity is de®ned as the gas velocity that pushes the parti-

cles of a determined diameter out of the reactor. In other

words, the drag force will be higher than the weight of those

particles. Assuming that the particles are spherical, and

using the minimum ¯uidisation Reynolds number Leven-

spiel [21] proposed the following correlation:

u

t

=

g(r

mc

2r

g

)D

2

p

18m

g

Re

mf

# 0:4

u

t

=

4g

2

(r

mc

2r

g

)

2

225m

g

r

g

1=3

D

p

500 # Re

mf

$ 200 000

u

t

=

3:1g(r

mc

2r

g

)D

p

r

g

1=2

Re

mf

$ 200 000

(21)

Inside the reactor, there are two ¯uids and phases, so it is

very important to know the fraction of the gas phase forming

the bubble and the fraction in the emulsion. It is also impor-

tant to know the average velocity of the gas phase and the

porosity involved in the ¯uidisation phenomena, because, as

will be explained later, the bubble diameter and velocity

depend of these parameters. At the bottom of the reactor,

the inlet gas ¯ow is known and MGC considers that the gas

in the emulsion at this point has minimum ¯uidisation

conditions. In other words, the emulsion gas velocity is

obtained using Eq. (20) and the porosity is equal to the

minimum ¯uidisation porosity, which is a constant value

according to de Souza-Santos [4] and equal to 0.52.

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1693

The gas velocity in the emulsion is related to the area and

density by:

u

ge

=

F

ge

r

ge

A

e

(22)

The emulsion area fraction (A

e

) is a function of the bed

expansion coef®cient [4,12],

A

e

=

A

r

f

exp

(23)

f

exp

=

1 1

1:032(u

g

2u

mf

)

0:57

r

ga

r

p

u

0:063

mf

D

0:445

r

for D

r

, 0:0635

1 1

14:314(u

g

2u

mf

)

0:738

D

1:006

p

r

0:376

p

r

0:126

ga

u

0:937

mf

for D

r

$ 0:0635

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

¸

(24)

Using mass conservation, the ¯ow of the gaseous phase is

the sum of the ¯ow of the gas in the emulsion and in the

bubble,

F

g

= F

ge

1F

b

(25)

As mentioned earlier, for the bottom of the reactor, the ¯ow

of gas in the emulsion is known equal to the minimum

¯uidisation ¯ow. From Eq. (25), the ¯ow for the bubble

can be obtained. From here, the ¯ows in this equation are

given from the mass balance equation for each ¯uid, and the

¯ow of the gaseous phase is calculated. The average gas

velocity is then calculated as follows:

u

g

=

F

g

A

r

r

g

(26)

where the average density of the gasses is

r

g

=

F

ge

r

ge

1F

b

r

b

F

g

(27)

The bubble diameter and velocity can be calculated from the

gas velocity. The bubble results from the difference between

the minimum ¯uidisation condition in the emulsion and the

¯ow of the gaseous phase. For the bubble diameter, a perfo-

rated plate was considered and the correlation of Mori and

Wen [22] is used,

D

b

= D

b;max

2(D

b;max

2D

b;or

)exp

20:3Dz

D

r

(28)

where the bubble diameter in the plate (D

b,or

) and the maxi-

mum diameter (D

b,max

) are de®ned as,

D

b;max

= 1:638(A

r

(u

g

2u

mf

))

0:4

D

b;or

= 0:872

A

r

(u

g

2u

mf

)

N

or

0:4

(29)

Finally, for the bubble velocity, the recommended expres-

sion by Davidson and Harrison [12,23] is used,

u

b

= u

g

2u

mf

10:711(gD

b

)

0:5

(30)

To complete the set of ¯uid-dynamic parameters the bubble

area fraction and porosity can be obtained with the follow-

ing relations [4],

A

b

= A

r

2A

e

(31)

1 = 1 2

1 21

e

f

exp

(32)

1

e

= 1

mf

U

e

U

mf

1=6:7

(33)

1

b

= 1 2

1 21

1 21

e

(34)

2.3. Particle size distribution

The MGC model considers a Gaussian distribution for the

initial size distribution. Inside the reactor, the shape is

conserved but the average diameter changes due to attrition,

elutriation, drag, and consumption. The average diameter at

the feed point and inside the reactor is calculated as,

D

p;M

=

1

¸

n 21

W

i

D

i;ave

(35)

where

W

i

=

M

i

¸

j

M

j

(36)

D

i;ave

=

D

i11

1D

i

2

(37)

At the feeding point the initial diameter and mass of each

level in the distribution are given, and with Eq. (36) the

mass fraction of each level is found. The model manipulates

these three vectors (diameter, mass, and fraction) with the

elutriation fraction, and new values are obtained. From these

vectors, the diameters and masses are affected by the

consumption fraction, while the fractions remain constant.

In other words, the mass fraction of each level is not affected

by the consumption, but its value will be affected by attrition

and drag. The mass fraction of each level in the distribution

inside the reactor is obtained by:

W

i;in

=

(F

mc;i

1A

tt;i;sup

2A

tt;i;inf

1A

rr;i

)

M

rem

(38)

where the attrition and drag ¯ows are given by [2,4,24,25]:

A

tt;i

= G

s

M

rem

(u

g

2u

mf

)f

vol

s

W

i

¸

i±j

W

j

¸

(39)

A

rr

=

(3:07e 29)A

2

r

D

b

r

3:5

g

g

0:5

(u

g

2u

mf

)

2:5

W

i

m

2:5

(40)

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1694

2.4. Chemical reactions

At the feeding point a simultaneous and instantaneous

devolatilisation and drying processes are presented, for the

remaining coal combustion and gasi®cation reactions are

considered, in other words reactions with oxygen, stream

and carbon dioxide. For devolatilisation and drying the

kinetic coef®cients are calculated from the mass balance

principle, while for the combustion, gasi®cation and lime-

stone reactions the kinetic coef®cients are function of

temperature and composition. For limestone and homo-

geneous reactions (gas±gas) the kinetic coef®cients were

calculated with different expressions from several refer-

ences. For combustion and gasi®cation reactions, the kinetic

coef®cients were obtained with experimental techniques in

the Universidad de Antioquia laboratories. Tables 2±4

summarise reactions, reaction rates for the homogeneous

reactions, and kinetic coef®cients used in the MGC model.

The exposed particle model was chosen for combustion

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1695

Table 3

Reaction rates for the homogeneous (gas±gas) reactions

R

5

(kg m

23

s

21

)

R

5

= K

5

y

CO

y

H

2

O

2

y

CO

2

y

H

2

K

p

5

¸

R

6

(kg m

23

s

21

)

R

6

= K

6

y

CO

y

0:5

O

2

r

1:5

g

¸ ¸

R

7

(kg m

23

s

21

)

R

7

=

K

7

T

1:5

g

y

1:5

H

2

y

O

2

r

2:5

g

¸ ¸

R

8

(kg m

23

s

21

)

R

8

=

K

8

T

g

y

CH

4

y

O

2

r

2

g

R

9

(kg m

23

s

21

)

R

9

=

K

9

T

g

y

C

2

H

6

y

O

2

r

2

g

R

10

(kg m

23

s

21

) R

10

= K

10

y

0:86

NH

3

y

1:04

O

2

r

1:9

g

Table 4

Kinetic coef®cients

Reaction Equation Units Reference

1

k

1

= 17:9 exp

213 750

T

p

¸

Pa

21

s

21

2±4

2a

k

2a

= 5:95 £ 10

25

exp

213 650

T

p

¸

Pa

21

s

21

MGC model

2b

k

2b

= 3:92 exp

226 927

T

p

¸

Pa

21

s

21

MGC model

5

k

5

= 2:78 £ 10

3

exp 2

1510

T

g

¸

kmol

21

m

3

s

1

2±4

5

k

p

5

= 0:0265 exp

3968

T

g

¸

± 2±4

6

k

6

= 1:0 £ 10

15

exp 2

16 000

T

g

¸

kmol

20.75

m

2.25

K

1.5

s

21

2±4

7

k

7

= 5:159 £ 10

15

exp 2

3430

T

g

¸

kmol

21.5

m

4.5

K

1.5

s

21

2±4

8

k

8

= 3:552 £ 10

14

exp 2

15 700

T

g

¸

kmol

20.9

m

2.7

s

21

2±4

9

k

9

= 3:552 £ 10

14

exp 2

15 700

T

g

¸

kmol

20.9

m

2.7

s

21

2±4

10

k

10

= 9:78 £ 10

11

exp 2

19 655

T

g

¸

kmol

21

m

3

s

21

k 2±4

and gasi®cation reactions, while for the limestone reaction

the unreacted core model was used. The rates include reac-

tion and diffusion resistance. The rates of combustion, gasi-

®cation and limestone reactions are then calculated as

follows:

R

i

=

2

D

p;feed

r

i

R

mT;i

(41)

where i is the type of reaction (combustion, gasi®cation or

limestone). The mass resistance for the exposed core are,

R

mT;i

=

1

Sh

i

D

i;M

1

D

p

=D

p;feed

D

i;M

A

2

dens;1

D

p

D

p;feed

M

T;i

A

dens;2

21

(42)

while for the unreacted core,

R

mT;i

=

1

Sh

i

D

i;M

1

1 2D

p

=D

p;feed

D

p

D

p;feed

D

i;M

1

D

p

=D

p;feed

D

i;M

A

2

dens;1

D

p

D

p;feed

M

T;i

A

dens;2

21

(43)

The additional constants in Eqs. (42) and (43) are de®ned as

follows:

A

dens;1

= 1 2

r

app

r

real

; A

dens;2

= coth

D

p

D

p;feed

M

T;i

(44)

M

T;i

= 0:5 D

p

K

i

A

2

dens;1

0:5

(45)

The consumption factor does not affect the mass fraction of

each level in the particle size distribution. This implies that

the consumption is assumed equal for all particles. In order

to better approximate the consumption, an average rate is

calculated as a function of each mass fraction and diameter

as follows:

R

i;M

=

1

¸

j

W

j

R

i;ave

(46)

where

R

i;ave

=

R

i;sup

1R

i;inf

2

(47)

3. Numerical method

The MGC model includes a total of 29 differential equa-

tions with non-constant and non-linear coef®cients. As

mentioned earlier, the transport coef®cients, physical

properties, reactions rates are calculated at each point of

the bed as functions of composition and temperature.

Thus, the MGC model deals with a non-linear and stiff set

of equations. Stiffness occurs when there are two or more

very different scales of an independent variable, which in

turns affects the dependent variable. There are several high-

order methods for the solution of stiff problems, the most

important are:

² Generalisations of the Runge±Kutta method, like the

Rosenbrockmethods or the Kaps±Rentropmethod[26,27].

² Generalisations of the Bulirsch±Stoer method, in parti-

cular a semi-implicit extrapolation method due to Bader

and Deu¯hard [26,27].

² Multi-step, Predictor±corrector methods, like Gear's

backward differentiation method and the Adams±Bash-

foth±Moulton scheme [26,28,29].

Normally, the integral of a function is easy to ®nd

because the integrand has a known dependence on the inde-

pendent variable x, but in an ordinary differential equation

the integrand depends both on x and on the dependent vari-

able y. Thus to ®nd the solution of y

/

= f (x; y) from x

n

to x

the following equation has to be solved:

y(x) = y

n

1

¸x

x

n

f (x

/

; y)dx

/

(48)

In a single-step method like Runge±Kutta or Bulirsch±

Stoer, the value y

n11

at x

n11

depends only on y

n

. In a

Multi-step method, f (x; y) is approximated by a polynomial

passing through several previous points x

n

; x

n21

; ¼ and

possibly also through x

n11

: The result of evaluating the

integral Eq. (48) at x = x

n11

is then of the form,

y

n11

= y

n

1h(b

0

y

/

n11

1b

1

y

/

n

1b

2

y

/

n21

1b

3

y

/

n22

1

¼

)

(49)

where y

/

n

denotes f (x

n

; y

n

); and so on. If b

0

= 0; the method

is explicit; otherwise it is implicit. The order of the method

depends on how many previous steps are used to get the new

value of y.

The MGC model uses the implicit Adams±Moulton

method, or backward differentiation formulas: BDF or

Gear's method. In both cases, the basic formulas are impli-

cit, so a system of non-linear equations must be solved at

each step. Newton's method is used for the iteration scheme.

Several matrix±vector operations subroutines from the

IMSL [30] were used.

4. Basic description of the algorithm

The MGC program was programmed in double precision

in FORTRAN 90 language, with three iteration processes.

The external iteration concerns the solid temperature, the

middle the coal consumption fraction, and the internal the

diameter distribution. Fig. 4 shows a schematic diagram of

the simulation program.

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1696

At ®rst, the solid temperature, coal consumption frac-

tion and the new diameter distribution is given as an

initial guess, and the Adams or Gear's method are used

in order to obtain the temperatures and composition of

the different phases. With equations for the attrition, elutria-

tion and drag, a new diameter distribution is found and

compared with the initial guess. When this distribution is

equal to the guess, the solid reactions rates are integrated

over the bed height, a new coal consumption fraction is

obtained and compared with the initial guess. Finally,

when the coal consumption fraction iteration process is

®nished, the energy equation of the solid phase is integrated,

thus the solid temperature is found and compared with the

initial guess.

The necessary input data for the MGC program are the

following:

(a) Coal and limestone particle size distribution data;

number of different levels, diameter and weight of each

level.

(b) Reactor geometry parameters; i.e. reactor diameter,

bed length, wall thickness.

(c) Distributor plate type and geometry data; number of

holes, hole diameter.

(d) Inlet gaseous phase conditions; temperature, compo-

sition, moisture.

(e) Inlet solid phase conditions; percentages of coal, lime-

stone and inert material, temperature, densities, friability

constants.

(f) Complete characterisation of the coal; i.e. ®xed

carbon, volatile material, moisture, carbon, sulphur, etc.

(g) Combustion, gasi®cation (CO

2

and H

2

O) and lime-

stone reaction constants.

(h) Numerical data; i.e. number of nodes, tolerances,

iterations.

5. Results

All the calculations presented in this paper were done on

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1697

Fig. 4. MGC program diagram.

a COMPAQ Deskpro with 500 MHz Pentium II processor,

64MB RAM and 5GB of virtual memory. The convergence

criterion for the diameter and the coal consumption fraction

was taken as,

ux

new

2x

old

u

x

old

# 10

26

(50)

while for the temperature,

uT

new

2T

old

u

T

old

# 10

22

(51)

The typical computer time for a case with 1000 nodes and

the above tolerances was 20 min. The number of iterations

for the solid temperature and diameters were between 2 and

4, while for the coal consumption fraction were between 5

and 10.

In Fig. 5 several ¯uid-dynamic parameters are shown as a

function of the bed height. For these results, the feed point

was ®xed at 0.3 m. The strong in¯uence of the feed point

position can be observed in the results. The gas ¯ow

rate increases, due to the combustion and gasi®cation reac-

tions at every point of the bed, but it reaches its maximum at

the feed point due to the devolatilisation, drying and lime-

stone reactions. The velocities and porosity increase in

the same way. The bubble increases its diameter and at

the end, the bubble area is greater than that of the gas in

the emulsion.

It is important to remark that the emulsion phase reaches

a porosity value of 0.9 because the solid material feeding is

not enough to raise the participation. The curve of minimum

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1698

Fig. 5. Fluid-dynamic results as a function of the bed height.

¯uidisation is related to the velocity and Reynolds number

required to attain minimum ¯uidisation.

The temperature pro®le along the bed does not show any

modi®cations within the reactor as it was expected in a

¯uidised bed where the distribution of solid particles is

uniform. On the other hand, the temperature of the bubbles

and the emulsion are very akin for the conditions with which

the computer programme was run. This behaviour is basi-

cally due to the heat transfer coef®cients between both parts

and the coal particles which are uniformly distributed along

the bed.

The in¯uence of the feed point is also clear in the left part

of Fig. 6, where the gas phase temperatures and composition

are shown for both ¯uids (emulsion and bubble). The

temperature of both ¯uids at each point of the bed is similar

due to the higher convection coef®cients presented in the

¯uidisation conditions. The temperatures drop at the feed

point due to the energy necessary for the drying and

devolatilisation processes. The gasi®cation process is

presented through the bed height but it has a different

behaviour after the feed point, where the H

2

has a higher

molar fraction than the CO, due to devolatilisation.

The right part of Fig. 6 shows how the temperature of the

gas phase increases in a short distance, due to the convection

inside and the large and fast combustion processes, which

consumes oxygen a few millimetres beyond the inlet point

of gasses.

Finally in Fig. 7, the comparison between experimental

data, from the Universidad Nacional-Medellin (A. Ocampo

et al., 2000. Proyecto COLCIENCIAS CoÂdigo No. 1118-06-

192-95, BogotaÂ, Colombia), and the MGC model are

shown. The input data for the MGC program were changed

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1699

Fig. 6. Temperatures and molar composition as functions of the bed height.

according to the conditions of the UN reactor, and the coal

characterisation (Tables 5±7) and reaction rates represented

the different coals used in the reactor, we also, changed the

inlet gas ¯ow rate, temperature, composition; in order to

predict the behaviour of the UN reactor. The reaction

rates for the coals were obtained with experimental proce-

dures at the laboratories of the Universidad de Antioquia

(A. Ocampo et al., 2000. Proyecto COLCIENCIAS CoÂdigo

No. 1118-06-192-95, BogotaÂ, Colombia).

The pilot gasi®cation plant of ¯uidised coal bed at the

Universidad Nacional-Medellõ Ân is made of the following

parts: The gasi®cation reactor, air compressor, air

preheated, a small electric boiler, a feeding system of the

mixture coal±lime,a combustion system of propane, an

elimination system of particulate material and a chromato-

graph on line for the analysis of gases.

The ¯uidised bed gasi®cation reactor has an internal

diameter of 0.22 m, a total height of 2 m and it has three

main modules. The distribution plate is made of a 3 mm

thick stainless steel plate with 142 1 mm holes.

Six different experiments and numerical results are

compared (Table 7), and the results are satisfactory.

The dashed lines represent 20% calculation error. It

can be observed that most of the results are within

the 20% range. The higher differences are presented

in the H

2

molar composition, due to the fact that the

devolatilisation rates were not changed for each coal,

due to the dif®culty of ®nding data for Colombian

coals. This is a research project at the Universidad Ponti-

®cia Bolivariana and once the rates are known the MGC

model is easy to modify due to the modular form of the

program.

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1700

Fig. 7. Comparison between MGC and experimental data.

6. Conclusions

We have developed a gasi®cation model using the basic

conservation equations in compact form in order to obtain

an adequate and accurate numerical solution. The numerical

results presented here agree very well with the experimental

data thus proving the ef®ciency and accuracy of both the

mathematical and numerical model. The presented model is

being used recently for designing a new reactor which will

produce gases with enough energy for drying bricks in

industry.

Acknowledgements

In a huge project like the one presented in this paper there

are a lot of institutions and people the authors wish to thank.

In particular, COLCIENCIAS (Instituto Colombiano para el

desarrollo de la Ciencia y Tecnologia Francisco JoseÂ

Caldas), MINERCOL (Minerales de Colombia), Universi-

dad Ponti®cia Bolivariana, Universidad Nacional-Medellõ Ân

and Universidad de Antioquia for their logistic and

economic support. Alonso Ocampo, Erika Arenas, John

Jairo Ramirez, Jorge Espinel, Carlos LondonÄo, Leonardo

Velasquez and J. Fredy Escobar who helped with the experi-

ments at the UN reactor, to Fannor Mondragon for the reac-

tion rate constants and to Marcio L. Sousa-Santos for

technical support. The author apologise, if due to size of

the project, someone is missed in the list of acknowledge-

ments.

F. Chejne, J.P. Hernandez / Fuel 81 (2002) 1687±1702 1701

Table 5

Proximate and elemental analysis of coal

Titiribõ Â coal (%) Venice coal (%)

Moisture 2.6 9.3

Volatile material 41.8 40.0

Fixed coal 54.1 44.8

Ash 1.5 5.9

Coal density

X Titiribõ Â coal: 1250 kg m

23

X Venice coal: 1328 kg m

23

X Lime: 2700 kg m

23

Element Titiribõ Â coal (%) Venice coal (%)

C 75.28 64.95

H 5.36 5.33

N 1.82 1.95

O 15.67 21.46

S 0.37 0.41

Table 6

Particle size distribution

Grid Diameter (mm) Differential analysis (%)

Titiribõ Â coal Venice coal Lime

14 1.412 1.08 1.82 0.02

16 1.180 28.53 33.36 0.08

20 0.850 12.70 12.83 31.76

25 0.710 28.18 27.95 22.97

30 0.595 10.90 10.43 41.59

50 0.295 17.57 13.30 2.40

Collector ± 1.04 0.31 1.17

Average particle diameter (mm) 0.62 0.68 0.64

Table 7

Operation conditions and results

Exp. N

0

1 2 3 4 5 6

Coal feed (kg h

21

) 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 6.6

Air supply (kg h

21

) 21.9 17.0 19.4 21.9 28.4 14.8

Lime feed (kg h

21

) 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.66

Steam supply (kg h

21

) 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.0

Air and steam temperature

at entrance (8C)

420 413 422 435 368 336

Temperature of reactor (8C) 855 812 841 866 826 829

H

2

(%) 8.53 8.84 9.63 7.88 6.48 10.80

CO

2

(%) 19.31 18.38 14.40 15.60 14.86 21.59

N

2

(%) 60.37 61.10 64.62 64.52 71.54 56.60

CH

4

(%) 0.84 1.07 1.34 1.01 1.29 0.86

CO (%) 10.94 10.59 9.97 10.94 5.80 10.14

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