You are on page 1of 5

Fuel 89 (2010) 40534057

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

journal homepage:

Short communication

Drag coefcient of Solid Recovered Fuels (SRF)

Gregory Dunnu *, Jrg Maier, Uwe Schnell, Gnter Scheffknecht
Institute of Combustion and Power Plant Technology IFK, University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 23, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
The numerical simulation of Solid Recovered Fuels (SRF) co-combustion in pulverised coal power plants requires a exible particle model, which among other properties should be able to predict the aerodynamic behaviour of the irregular-shaped particles, especially their trajectories along the boiler axis. This will help to provide vital information on whether the SRF particles are entrained in the combustion gases or drop to the boiler bottom. One difculty encountered in the process is the true value of the drag coefcient (CD) of the coarse SRF particles. Most of the numerical simulation codes calculate the particle trajectories by integrating the force balance of the particles in which the CD plays an important role. As a result, a true CD of SRF will denitely lead to more realistic results. In this short communication, the authors have taken a practical approach in determining the CD of the SRF. It was found that within the Newtons law range the CD of the SRF lies between 0.6 and 2.0 with a mean value of 1.5. The results were further validated by correlating the calculated lift velocities of SRF using different CD values and that obtained through experiment. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 18 May 2010 Received in revised form 16 June 2010 Accepted 24 June 2010 Available online 6 July 2010 Keywords: Solid Recovered Fuels Numerical simulation Drag coefcient Co-combustion

1. Introduction The numerical simulation of Solid Recovered Fuels (SRF) cocombustion in pulverised coal power plants based on numerical calculations requires a exible particle model, which should be able to predict: 1. Species and gas phase reactions, 2. mass transfer, and 3. the aerodynamic behaviour of the irregular-shaped particles, especially their trajectories along the boiler axis. The latter will help provide vital information on whether the SRF, which are generally coarse particles, are entrained in the combustion gases or fall to the boiler bottom. One difculty encountered in the process is the true value of the drag coefcient of such fuel particles. Most of the numerical simulation codes calculate the particle trajectories by integrating the force balance of the particles in which the CD plays an important role. As a result, a true CD of SRF will denitely lead to more realistic results. In comparison to SRF, the particle sizes of coal dust are in the micron range and their form can be approximated to be spherical. Hence in numerical calculations their aerodynamic behaviour can be approximated by that of spheres. Unlike coal dust, SRF derived from municipal solid waste (MSW) are coarser with particle sizes
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 71168563750; fax: +49 711 685 63491. E-mail addresses:, dunnu@ivd.uni-stuttgart. de (G. Dunnu). 0016-2361/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2010.06.039

in the range of centimetres. They are loose, uffy and of course their aerodynamic behaviour cannot be approximated to that of spheres. In this research work the authors have taken practical steps to determine the aerodynamic properties of SRF, namely the effective particle diameter and the CD of the particles. The results of the research work concerning the effective diameter have been discussed elsewhere [1], therefore this paper will only deal with the drag coefcient of SRF particles. SRF is produced in special waste treatment facilities operated by both private and public companies. Input materials are municipal waste streams and production residues. Also included are packaging materials, paper/cardboard and textiles. The common process technologies used are:  Mechanical processing in order to separate the high-caloric fraction and to remove unwanted components (e.g. PVC), and  mechanicalbiological treatment plants with process-integrated separation and processing of high-caloric fractions. Depending on the production line, the SRF products are mainly produced as bales, uff, soft or hard pellets. Wastes suitable for the production of SRF are dened according to the waste catalogue and the Commission Decision 2000/532/EC1. According to the waste categories, the input materials can be separated in ve main groups:

1 Decision (2000/532/EC) has subsequently been amended by Commission Decision 2001/118/EC of 16 January 2001, Commission Decision 2001/119/EC of 22 January 2001 and Commission Decision 2001/573/EC 23 July 2001.


G. Dunnu et al. / Fuel 89 (2010) 40534057

1. 2. 3. 4.

Wood, paper, cardboard and cardboard boxes, textiles and bres, plastics and rubber, other materials (e.g. waste ink, used absorbers, spent activated carbon), and 5. High-Caloric Fractions HCF from non-hazardous mixed collected wastes. The SRF used in this study is pictured in Fig. 1 together with its percentage weight compositions. It is made of high-caloric fraction (HCF) derived from municipal solid waste (MSW). The particle sizes range between 3 mm and 25 mm with a d50 of 9.8 mm. 2. Experiments 2.1. Determination of aerodynamic lift velocity (ALV) of SRF particles The ALV depicts a characteristic parameter that is used to describe the ability of the SRF to be fully suspended in a gas stream. It is determined at room temperature and later corrected to ue gas conditions. This parameter gives an estimated value of the essential gas stream velocity needed to prevent the SRF particles from falling to the bottom ash hopper before they are completely burned. The experimental set-up built to determine the ALV of the SRF particles is shown in Fig. 2. It consists of a 1000 mm fall column with a wire mesh mounted at 500 mm. SRF particles are dropped on the mesh one after the other and the air ow rate needed to just lift it is recorded. With this set-up the ALV of a particle is measured as the velocity of air in the fall column that is needed to create the lift force necessary to just suspend a particle above the mesh. The results obtained under laboratory conditions are transferred to a real boiler after correlating them to the existing conditions in the boiler. The formula [2] linking the two conditions is derived as:

C D Re

  4 2 gdp qp qf ; fw 3 ALV2 qf 4

Newtons law region 500 < Re < 2 105

Here qf is the air density, qA is the particle density, dP is the equivalent circle diameter, CD (Re) is the drag coefcient, ALV is the aerodynamic lift velocity and fw is the wall factor correction, calculated using Eq. (5).

Munroe f w 1

 1:5 dp ; 103 6 Rep 6 104 ; 0:1 6 dp =D 6 0:8 D 5

The introduction of fw is based on the fact that when the diameter of a settling particle is signicant compared to the diameter of the fall column (D), the settling velocity is reduced. The effect of boundaries on terminal velocity is corrected using the correlation preferred by Munroe [3]. This was selected because most of the calculated Re of the SRF particles and the ratio of particle diameter to diameter of the fall column lies within the limits of this equation. 2.2. Particle size measurements using image analysis method The dp of the SRF were determined using particle image analysis method (PIAM), here the maximum projected area of the individual particles are extracted from digital photographs. Earlier research (1) has shown that particle size measurement using this method gives data that captures the aerodynamic properties of the particles. This is supported by the fact that particles fall with their maximum projection area perpendicular to the direction of fall, and a size measure representing this maximum projection area is most likely to relate to behavioural (aerodynamic) properties [4]. An illustration to demonstrate this phenomenon is for e.g. when a piece of paper is falling, it will almost and always fall with the largest surface facing the direction of fall. In view of this the ability to describe precisely the largest projected area of a particle will immensely help in any modelling of particle trajectories in boilers and industrial furnaces. Validation work on this method has previously been published by the authors [1]. The equivalent circle diameter (dp) is then calculated using Eq. (6). Fig. 3 illustrates the principle of measurement. The characteristic parameter (dp) is dened as the diameter of a circle with the same area as the maximum projection of a particle, computed as:

ALVFG ALVmeasured

qf qFG

where qf is the density of air, and qFG is the density of ue gas (FG). The theoretical model of the set-up is developed based on Reynolds number calculations. Considering the balance of forces acting on a suspended particle in a uid, the forces of buoyancy, drag and gravity acting on it are summarized as:

gravity buoyancy drag acceleration force

At equilibrium position, Eq. (2) becomes:

dp 3

r 4 Maximum Projection Area

pd3 p

1 ALV2 pdp qp qf g C D Re qf 2 0 2 6 fw 4

thus leading to the following expression for the drag coefcient:

In comparisons, sieve analysis which is the most commonly used method for particle size analysis has been shown to be unsuitable for detailed analysis of SRF particles. The reasons are

Fig. 1. SRF derived from HCF of MSW and its compositions in weight percent.

G. Dunnu et al. / Fuel 89 (2010) 40534057


Fig. 2. Set-up to determine the aerodynamic lift velocity (ALV) of SRF particles [2].

A circle with area equal to the projected area of particle P


value of 1.5 in the Newtons law region. In Fig. 4, a scatter plot of the results as a function of Reynolds numbers is shown. It is observed that CD is independent of the Reynolds number in this region. In comparisons, the data published by Lapple and Shepherd [5] for cylinders and disc-shaped objects shown in Fig. 5 show that the drag coefcients of both shapes in the Newtons law range are also independent of the Reynolds number, and the magnitude is about twice as high compared to spheres. In their research, cylinders and disc-shaped objects were dened as follows; cylinder dened as object with innite length with axis perpendicular to the direction of motion, and disc-shaped dened as objects with at side perpendicular to the direction of motion. The fractions found in SRF, namely paper, plastic-foils, and textiles, can be described as loose, at, and uffy objects. Their aerodynamic behaviour can be linked to that of disc-shaped materials, hence the CD of SRF were compared with that of discshaped materials as published in literature. In the Newtons law range, the drag coefcient of cylinders and disc-shaped objects stays constant. After superimposing the results, the hatched area indicated in Fig. 5 shows the values of SRF and that of Lapple and Shepherd Fig. 5. It can be seen that both are found in the same vicinity. In view of this, the approximation of the aerodynamic behaviour of SRF to that of disc-shaped objects is a plausible assumption. Additional validation is performed by correlating the experimental and theoretical results in two scenarios. First using a CD of 1.5, and second using a CD of 0.5 to calculate the ALV. Fig. 6a,b shows the correlation between ALV of several single particles calculated using Eq. (4) with drag coefcients of 1.5 and 0.5 and experimental results. The ideal line is a reference with gradient unity. It represents the case where the experimental values are the same as the theoretic values. Comparing the reference line to the other lines

Key L: Major Axis Length B: Minor axis length

P: Maximum projection area of a particle dp: Equivalent circle diameter

Fig. 3. Measurement principle of image analysis method for particle size analysis.

that SRF are characterized by very heterogeneous mixtures, uffy materials, and variable particle densities. They entangle each other and agglomerate during sieving. Particles can wrongly be classied simply by the orientation of which they approach the sieve aperture, thus slipping through the sieve when the shortest sides of the particles are correctly aligned to the sieve opening. A fundamental difference between the two methods is that, particle sizes determined by PIAM capture more of the aerodynamic properties than when sieve analysis is used. In this respect, PIAM was used to determine the aerodynamic diameters as a function of the maximum projected area of the SRF particles. 3. Results and discussions 3.1. The drag coefcient of SRF The drag coefcients for the individual SRF particles were determined using Eq. (4). The results show that the CD values for the loose SRF fractions effectively lie between 0.6 and 2.0 with a mean


G. Dunnu et al. / Fuel 89 (2010) 40534057

Fig. 4. Drag coefcient of SRF as a function of Reynolds number.

Fig. 5. CD of spheres, disks, cylinders, and SRF. Source: Perrys Chemical Engineers Handbook 7th Ed. (Original: Lapple and Shepherd, Ind. Eng. Chem.,1940, 32, 605 [5]).

7 6

ALV (calculated), m/s

ALV (calculated), m/s

5 4 3 2 1 0 0.0 0.5 1.0

Sieve analysis data used y = 1,94x R2 = 0.7 Ideal y=x R2 = 1

6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Sieve analysis data used y = 3.53x R2 = 0.6

PIAM data used y = 1.35x R2 = 0.6

PIAM data used y = 0,96x R2 = 0.7 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0

Ideal y=x R2 = 1








ALV (experiment), m/s

ALV (experiment), m/s

(a) ALV calculated with C D = 1.5

reveals that the ALV calculated using a CD value of 1.5 provides the best correlation between theoretic and experimental values. The gradients of the lines are closer to the reference line than those estimated using CD = 0.5. Moreover, the lines with PIAM data2 show a

(b) ALV calculated with C D = 0.5 [1]

much better correlation between experimental values and theoretical values than those with sieve analysis data3. These comparisons clearly conrm that the CD of SRF estimated to be 1.5 can be used for calculations with higher accuracy. The correlations also showed

Fig. 6. Comparison of ALV using different CD values.

PIAM data means particle sizes determined by particle image analysis.

Sieve analysis data means particle sizes determined by sieve analysis.

G. Dunnu et al. / Fuel 89 (2010) 40534057


signicant differences in results between particle size data derived from sieve analysis method and PIAM. 3.2. Effect of combustion on CD Three main factors determine the drag of burning solid particles [6]: 1. The mass transfer due to the combustion process, 2. Temperature gradient between particle and ambient medium, and 3. Surface and volumetric reactions on the particle and in its boundary layer. The inuences of the above factors on the particle drag differ widely. For example, mass transfer leads to thickening of the boundary layer and reduction of the drag coefcient, whereas temperature difference between particle and medium affects mainly the variation of the physical properties of the uid. Irrespective of this, several researches have shown contrary views. Experimental investigations of the drag of a burning particle (coal, charcoal, coke) published by Babii and Kuvaev [7] over a wide ranges of particle diameters, oxygen concentration and initial ambient temperatures: 0.1 < d < 15 mm, 0.21 < C < 100%, 300 < T < 1400 K, have shown that the drag coefcient of burning particles is larger than that of non-burning ones in the Stokes law and intermediate region, but unaffected in the Newtons law region. Contrary, the data published by Ogasawara et al. [8] concerning the drag coefcient of a burning cylindrical and spherical particles (cylinder, d = 3.52 mm; spheres, d = 9.7 mm) showed signicant differences between burning and non-burning particles, with burning particles having a reduced drag coefcient of up to 30% and 40% for cylinders and spheres, respectively. The drag coefcients of different fractions found in the SRF might not remained unchanged during combustion. Therefore,

consideration should be given especially to the non-char bearing particles like plastics in numerical calculations. In this case, their form and drag rapidly changes. As such the appropriate assumptions and boundary conditions should be outlined concerning individual non-char bearing fractions of the SRF and how their drag coefcients might vary in the combustion process. 4. Conclusions It has been shown in this work that the aerodynamic parameters, namely the drag coefcient and the lift velocity of SRF particles are essential inputs to the overall aerodynamic behaviour. The results showed that the drag coefcients of SRF particles within the Newtons law region have values which range between 0.6 and 2 with a mean of 1.5. The mean value was a very good input in the estimation of the aerodynamic lift velocity SRF using Reynolds number based calculation. References
[1] Dunnu G, Hilber T, Schnell U. Advanced size measurements and aerodynamic classication of solid recovered fuel particles. Energy Fuels 2006. doi: 10.1021/ ef0600457. [2] Dunnu G, Maier J, Hilber T, Scheffknecht G. Characterisation of large solid recovered fuel particles for direct co-ring in large PF power plants. Fuel, 2009. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2009.03.004. [3] Munroe HS. Trans AIMME, 18881889, 17. 637657. [4] Sneed ED, Folk RL. Pebbles in the Lower Colorado river, Texas, a study in particle morphogenesis. J Geol 1958;66:11450. [5] Lapple CE, Shepherd CB. Calculation of particle trajectories. Ind Eng Chem 1940;32. [6] Yarin LP, Hetsroni G. Combustion of two-phase reactive media. 2004, ISBN 3540-40339-6,145. [7] Babii VI, Kuvaev JaF. Combustion of coal dust and coal dust ame calculation (in Russian). Energoatomizdat, 1986, Moscow. [8] Ogasawara M, Adachi T, Yashiki T. Study of the drag of cylinder and sphere with ames supported in air stream. Jpn Soc Mech Eng 1967;33(10):82532.