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DNS of particle laden flows in biomass co-firing power plants

Abhijay Awasthi Dept. of Mechanical Engineering 25 Nov. 2013

Background Motivation Solid fuel particle - chemistry Single particle models DNS of channel flow Governing equations and boundary conditions Future work

Biomass co-firing
wood chips, saw dust, corn husks, wheat chaff

Environment and Economics


Fuel processing costs (energy basis) = Transportation + Grinding etc.

Biomass vs. Coal

Vegetation (Biomass) Peat Lignite Bituminous
Increasing C/O Increasing C/H Increasing Heating value


Challenges in co-firing
Analysis Moisture Ash Volatiles Fixed Carbon C H O N S HHV (kJ/kg) Biomass 7.3 2.6 76.2 13.9 46.9 5.2 37.8 0.1 0.04 18140 Coal 10.8 5.68 30.7 52.8 54.9 4.33 23.32 0.76 0.34 26535

Biomass has significantly higher volatile content as compared to coal Biomass has lower heating value then coal Differences in particle sizes biomass particles are larger Sole firing of biomass not preferred due to operational problems CO-FIRING with coal

Need to - Optimize combustion time in co-firing solids with different sizes and compositions - Reduce emissions of the power plants - Determine optimum O2/fuel ratio for different blends

Solid Fuel Particle


Ash is an inert component in particle, does not react


A solid fuel particle is composed of several chemical functional groups

Gasification and oxidation

Chemistry and Reactions

Heterogeneous Solid-gas & Homogeneous gas phase reactions

C + O2 (2-2 )CO + (2-1)CO2

CO + H2O H2 + CO2

C + CO2 2CO
C + 2H2 CH4
COS + H2O H2S + CO2

C + H2O CO + H2
CO + 3H2

CH4 + H2O

CiHiOiNiSiA CHONSA + Volatiles (CO+H2O+H2+CO2+CH4+H2S+N2+NH3+Tar)

(Raw solid fuel) (Char)


Volatile combustion


Heterogeneous reactions

Biomass co-firing : DNS of Turbulent channel flow

y z x

Eulerian Lagrangian approach Gas phase Eulerian Particles - Lagrangian

Gas phase governing equations for compressible flow are based on conservation of momentum, mass and energy.

Mass conservation equations for individual gas species are solved apart from the total gas phase mass conservation.

Future work
Addition of char combustion and volatile combustion reactions in the DNS of a turbulent channel flow -Biomass only -Coal only - Co-firing Challenging due to differences in time scales of pyrolysis and combustion reactions Identifying suitable time integration methods and spatial discretization schemes Sensitivity runs to determine the effects of parameters like particle size, volume fraction and particle composition Particle-Particle interaction - Particle of different size, composition (ash, volatiles and moisture) - significant variations in particle surface temperatures - Radiative heat transfer between particles to be included


Thank you !

Numerical Method
Work of Russo et al. Biomass pyrolysis in DNS of turbulent channel flow

Time integration : Low storage second order Runge-Kutta method

For j=1,2,3,4 where u(0) is a variable at time t and u(4) the variable at time t+dt

Spatial discretization: Finite volume method Central differencing 1283 control volumes Uniform grid spacing in streamwise and spanwise directions Grid points clustered near the walls in order to resolve boundary layers v
y z x

Boundary conditions Wall temperature constant No-slip at the wall Periodic boundary condition in streamwise(x) and spanwise (z) directions