Innovative Hydrocavitation Technology Process to Create Composite Fuels

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 4, 2012 - 12:00am

Goal of the Project

The primary goal of the project is the creation of composite fuels for combustion processes containing biomass, coal, coal residues, crude oil processing residues, and other combustible material for effective firing in power plants

The principal technological approach is hydrodynamic cavitation application to hydrocarbon fuels. The components of composite fuels are initially mixed and then processed in special cavitation devices where homogenization, reactions and partial changing of fractional compositions of the end product are realized. The hydrocavitation transformation development for composite fuels (including biofuels) ultradispersed spray and homogenization is an effective and inexpensive method to prepare waste materials for combustion

Because these composite fuels did not work well with current furnace spray nozzles, improved combustion nozzles were developed.

Existing Technologies

Other technologies to make use of biomass, coal, coal residues, crude oil processing residues, and other combustible material include:  

Pyrolysis: This technology is good for fuel oil formation but is expensive from an energy consumption point of view. Biogas production: The long term duration of biochemical reactions, energy expenses current control for reactor conditions, formatted in reactor residues as the result of biogas generation can be considered as disadvantages (although the residues can be utilized like good fertilizer). Biodiesel: Biodiesel can be a substitute for diesel fuel. Biodiesel needs an expensive biomass (raps for example). The production of biodiesel is expensive and there is substantial waste from its production. Bioethanol: Bioethanol can be substituted for the use of gasoline. But bioethanol needs an expensive biomass (sugar, corn) and in production a great deal of energy is lost.

New Process: PHCR Process - Introduction

An innovative hydrocavitation technology for creation and effective burning of composite liquid fuels of new types based on technology of a new principle of cavitation transformations obtained by a cascade aggregate of cavitators with different functional performance capabilities. During the process of hydro-cavitation, liquid composite fuel emulsions and slurries are obtained and activation of physical and chemical transformations of hydrocarbons is observed. Solid waste of coal production, waste from the oil-refining industry, tank-washes, waste from production of different oils, different wastes of organic and inorganic origin, peat, silt, biomass, and wood can be used in this process.

There should be great interest in developing and exploiting this new reactor process called the pump-homogenizer-cavitator-reactor or PHCR for short. This process has the potential to enhance fuels by increasing their octane or cetane number and to formulate composite fuels. The process is also applicable to oil cleanup in ships or tanks and the commercial use of the recovered oil. The process will provide an important contribution to environmental cleanup and recycling of oils. The objective is to help bring this reactor to near commercialization. This process can be of importance to the United States gas and oil industry as well as environmental firms.

PHCR Process

Pump: The pump moves the fluid through the recycle pipe and back to the PHCR and builds pressure and temperature in the system.

Homogenizer: This part of the PHCR causes mixing of the fuel and subsequent enhancement of the homogenization of the fuel.

Cavitation: The introduction of cavitation in a small volume is an important feature of the PHCR. The introduction of liquid water in the mix contributes to the success of the PHCR. A small cavitation space focuses energy on a water bubble and breaks its bonds introducing Hydrogen in the PHCR.

Reactor: The Hydrogen reacts with the hydrocarbons increasing the quality of the fuel as measured by the octane or cetane number. Concurrently the viscosity is reduced. In addition the sulfur bonds can appear in the discard stream.

Flow Schematic of Process for Creating Composite Fuels

Composite Fuels Examples

Example 1

Input: 70% Waste Heavy Oil, 15% Diesel Fuel, 15% Water

Apply the Cavitation Process

Result: Form of Diesel Fuel with No Free Water Observed

Example 2

Input: Bitumen Tar, and Water

(bitumen and asphalt are mostly interchangeable words and is a mixture of organic liquids that are highly viscous, black and sticky, composed primarily of highly condensed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.)

Apply the Cavitation Process

Gross Heat of Combustion 133,577 Btu/gal

(Compared to #2 Heating Oil 137,000 Btu/gal)

Sediment and Water  0.05 vol%

 Asphaltenes 3.23 wt%

 Ash 0.021 wt%

 Kinematic Viscosity at 50C 6.972 cSt

(Compared to #2 Heating Oil of 3+cSt)

Example 3

Input: 20% Ground Rubber Tires and 80% #6 Fuel Oil

Apply the Cavitation Process

Results: Clean Paste with No Trace of Hard Rubber

Combustion of Paste is good.

Problem: Reduce Viscosity with additive?

Devices used in PHCR Process

Three key components of the process include a ROTOR-PULSATION DISPERSER for producing medium and high-viscosity emulsions and producing suspensions with an option of adding up to 30 % of a not very abrasive solid phase, a ROTOR CAVITATOR for producing low and medium-viscosity emulsions and a RECESSES-TYPE CAVITATOR for producing suspensions with an option of adding up to 70 % of a solid phase.

Experimental equipment used for creation of composite fuels based on rotor-pulsation disperser.

Experimental devise for emulsive fuel creation ? ROTOR CAVITATOR

Experiments to Determine Fuel Combustion Quality

Experiments to determine combustion quality included three key studies. The first process included water-carbon-black oil suspension droplets, in which pulverized coal is activated by model activator substances such as; NH4NO3, NaNO3, and NH4ClО4. A second examined brown coal with the use of activator substances. A third study involved the estimation of activators influence on pre-flaming processes is carried out. The possibility of complete combustion increase of coal conglomerate is shown. A products combustion balance of activation slurries has been determined and the decrease of some substances in products combustion balances have been calculated.

Hydro-Vortex Fuel Injector

Tests of hydro-vortex injectors on the composite fuel in boiler combustion of composite slurry fuels with use of standard types of injectors is impossible since the presence of a dispersed condensed phase in the fuel results to rapid blocking of the fuel pipelines and calibrated orifices. used for composite slurry fuels combustion unique hydro-vortex injectors have been developed . works based on a combined effect of jet pneumatic and hydro-vortex dispersion. It makes it possible to have a homogeneous ultradispersed spray of slurry fuel.

Models of the developed and tested sprayers

Results and Summary

Dramatic improvement of both energy and ecological indices of the production and combustion of these new composite liquid fuels has been obtained with the use of the innovative hydrocavitation technology (PHCR).

This process is developed to substitute for natural gas with cheap composite liquid fuels at different power plants based on solid waste of coal production, waste from oil-refining industry, waste from production of different oils, different waste of organic and inorganic origin such as peat, silt, biomass, and wood.

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