(108a) Computational Fluid Dynamic Study of Biomass Vapor-Phase Upgrading Process | AIChE

(108a) Computational Fluid Dynamic Study of Biomass Vapor-Phase Upgrading Process


Li, T. - Presenter, National Energy Technology Laboratory
Gao, X., National Energy Technology Laboratory
Rogers, W. A., National Energy Technology Laboratory
Panday, R., REM Engineering Services
Gopalan, B., West Virginia University Research Corporation
Breault, G., REM Engineering Services
Tucker, J., West Virginia University
Biomass is an important renewable energy source derived from plants like wood, food crops, agriculture or forestry residues, algae or even fumes from landfills. It is critical to find the most efficient ways to utilize the abundant biomass feedstocks. This work reports our recent efforts to model vapor-phase upgrading (VPU) reactors for biomass pyrolysis products developed within Consortium for Computational Physics and Chemistry, a research collaboration of national laboratories for the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office. In the catalytic vapor phase upgrading process, biomass pyrolysis oils are chemically converted to more suitable products for energy or valuable chemicals. CFD modeling has been used to help understand the process and provide useful information for process scale-up and integration. The experimental tests and numerical simulations of a small-scale circulating fluidized bed system at NETL are first conducted to facilitate model calibration and validation. After that, high-fidelity numerical simulations for a pilot-scale VPU system are performed to study mixing and flow hydrodynamics under different operating conditions. Detailed information on residence times of catalyst particle and gas vapors are then extracted which can be used for the low-order process models.