(737d) Project Update: Incorporating CFD in the CFP Development Process | AIChE

(737d) Project Update: Incorporating CFD in the CFP Development Process

Project Update: 
Incorporating CFD in the CFP Development Process


John Pendergrass, Peter Blaser and Travis Carver, CPFD

Bruce D Adkins and Neeti Kapur, KiOR


fluidization, scale-up, CFD, catalytic fast pyrolysis

Scale-up of
fluidization processes is challenging, time-consuming and often
counter-intuitive.  KiOR's proprietary Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis (CFP) process
was developed and commercialized using a traditional scale-up approach utilizing
multiple reactor scales and established engineering scale-up principles.  The
flow of catalyst concepts, reactor ideas and process designs has historically been
fairly linear:

This historical scale-up process has been resource-intensive.  In the
past 6 years there have been approximately 8,000 individual tests in 3
different PRUs, 37,000 hours on stream in 2 different KCRs and 18,000 hours on
stream in the demonstration unit. 

Recently, KiOR has added Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technology
to their development process.  Modeling of gas particle fluidization is
performed using the commercial Barracuda Virtual Reactor® software, enabling
simulation of particle loadings ranging from dilute to close-pack while, at the
same time, including the full particle size distributions of multiple particle

This presentation
provides a status update on the incorporation of CFD in the CFP development
process.  The experimental and operational data from various scales is being
used to validate and inform the computational models which, in turn, inform the
scale-up process.  Sample results are shown from three critical sub-projects:

1.       Catalyst
Catalyst circulation and hold-up is studied using a
Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) for a wide range of catalyst-to-feed ratios,
both experimentally and numerically.


2.       Biomass-catalyst
Biomass-catalyst mixing is studied across a wide range of fluidized
bed operational densities, further verifying the applicability of the CFD
results for the wide range of operating conditions possible at commercial

3.       Reaction
kinetics and heat of reaction: 
To date the CFD for this system has been
primarily applied to hydrodynamics only.  Work done toward extending the
validation of the models to thermal and reacting systems is presented.


This paper has an Extended Abstract file available; you must purchase the conference proceedings to access it.


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