(206b) Steady State Elutriation of Fines from Binary Particle Mixtures in Bubbling Fluidized Cold Flow Model

Breault, R. W., National Energy Technology Laboratory
Rowan, S., ORISE
Weber, J., National Energy Technology Laboratory


 Chemical looping combustion
(CLC) technology is being perused as a promising clean and high efficiency method
of power generation [1].  This technology has already been researched
extensively for gaseous fuels, but has more recently drawn interest in solids
fuel.  The basis of CLC is to supply oxygen to the fuel reaction process via
solid “oxygen carriers” preventing air from the reaction.  The “oxygen carrier”
is oxidized in an air reactor which is separate from the fuel reactor and then
looped through the fuel reactor where it is reduced, thus providing pure oxygen
for combustion of the solid fuel.  As a benign benefit of the CLC process is
the potential for significant reduction to carbon capture penalties due to the
flue gas consisting of mainly CO2 and H2O.  Therefore,
the H2O in the flue gas can be condensed leading to efficient
separation and capture of the CO2

One issue with solid fuel CLC is
that typical combustion beds are estimated to produce 1% of unburnt carbon in
the flow stream.  In a CLC reactor, the ash/char has the potential to be
carried to the air reactor along with the oxidizer material resulting in an
efficiency penalty.  Therefore, the US DOE has a set a goal to demonstrate that
over 90% of the unburnt carbon can be separated from the oxygen carrier being
transported back into the air reactor.  To meet this objective, multiple
fluidized bed technologies are being pursued.  Among them is a bubbling bed to
measure steady state elutriation rates.  Elutriation rates of binary materials
in bubbling beds have been studied in the past [2], but most consist of a batch
process methodology that only investigate transient elutriation rates.  Steady
state elutriation rates are need to assess the separation performance of a
continuous process.       

To investigate the steady state
elutriation process of a binary mixture a cold flow bubbling bed riser model
was constructed.  A rendering of the bed is provided in Figure
1 which consists of a 180 cm riser with a 10 cm diameter and a distributor
plate with 32 holes with 0.159 cm diameters.  A cyclone is in series with exit
port of the riser to drive elutriated particles into a collection bin.  To
achieve quasi steady state conditions three overflow ports of about 15, 25, and
36 cm heights are built into lower portion of the riser to maintain consistent fluidized
bed heights as binary solids mixtures are continuously screw fed into the
system.  Digital scales are used in both the cyclone collection and the
overflow bins to measure the elutriation rate of particles and the bed
overfill.  The particles considered for this effort consist of a plastic ZQ-17
“Day-glow” to simulate unburnt carbon, and two different sizes of glass beads
(P-0230 and P-0337) with the particle properties given in Table
1 to simulate potential size ranges of oxygen carriers.  Parameters currently
considered for investigation include varying the gas velocity within the region
of bubbling for the glass beads and varying the concentration of the day-glow
particles between 1% and 5% of the total mass.

Current test methodology
consists of prefilling the bed to a desired static bed height with the particle
mixture.  A constant fed rate was set to feed the same mixture into the bed
while a constant gas flow was supplied. The system is operated for a set period
of time to allow steady state conditions to be reached with the goal of
measuring the time dependent weight of the elutriated particles.  The gas
velocities considered for these tests should be within the bubbling regime of
the glass bead particles.

A series of preliminary runs
have been performed with a mixture of P-0337 with 5% ZQ-17 particles by mass at
gas velocities of 45 and 62 cm/sec.  Both of these velocities are within the
bubbling regime of the P-0337 particles.  The mixture feed rate the system was
1.5 g/sec to maintain a desired fluidized bed height of 25 cm for both runs. 
Initial results show promising separation performance.  Figure 2 shows the
system prefilled with the mixture prior to running the system post run.  The
ZQ-17 is yellow so the post image run clearly demonstrates that this material
was entrained and achieved some elutriation based on material that adhered to
the surfaces and the a nominal 0.635 cm sedimentation on top of the bed.  

Steady state elutriation rates
are needed to assess the performance of continuous particle separation techniques. 
A cold flow bubbling bed was designed and built to achieve this in order to
help achieve the NETL DOE goal of 90% carbon removal from oxygen carriers in a
CLC.  Initial results show promise in separation of fines analogous to carbon
from larger particles.



[1]        H.E.J.
Andrus, J.H. Chiu, P.R. Thibeault, A. Brutsch, Akstom’s calcium oxide chemical
looping combustion coal power technology development, Proceedings of the 34th
International Technical Conference on Clean Coal and Fuel Systems, May31 – June
4, 2009 (Clearwater FL).

[2]        E.R.
Monazam, R.W. Breault, J.M. Weber, K. Layfield, Elutriation of fines from
binary particle mixtures in bubbling fluidized bed cold model, Powder
Technology 305 (2017) 340-346.

 Table 1 – Particle physical properties where SMD is
sauter mean diameter).


Size Range (μm)











Glass Beads









Glass Beads


















Figure 1 – Schematic of 10 cm diameter continuous
bubbling bed

Figure 2 – Continuous bubbling bed, Left: pre-run,
Right: Post run