Oxy-Coal combustion is a promising clean coal technology. Typical combustion burns coal in air, resulting in a product mixture of water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Separating carbon dioxide from nitrogen is costly. In oxy-fired combustion, nitrogen is first separated from air and a mixture of coal, oxygen, and (optionally) recirculated flue gases is burned. The resultant products are water and carbon dioxide, which are easily separated for subsequent sequestration. Oxy-fired combustion often occurs at high temperatures and under flow and thermal conditions that differ somewhat from combustion in air. Radiative heat transfer is a key process in such combustion as it is a primary source of heat transfer in steam generation applications. Radiation is present from gaseous species, ash, coal char, and soot, with soot being a significant contributor. Unfortunately, soot formation is a complex process. While much research has been done on soot formation in general, relatively little research has been published on soot formation in coal combustion. In oxy-fire systems with high water and carbon dioxide concentrations, and at high temperature, soot consumption via gasification may be significant. (Normally so consumption is dominated by oxidation reactions.)
We present a series of large eddy simulations in an oxy-coal combustor in which sensitivity to the soot formation mechanism is presented. Differences is flow, temperature, and radiative heat transfer are shown. We compare results using a previously published coal soot model, as well as extensions that include optimized gasification and oxidation rates. An advanced physics-based soot formation from coal tar mechanism is presented.