(133a) Scale up Practices for Today's Breakthrough Technologies

Authors: 
Badiola, C., New Jersey Institute of Technology
Hamilton, M. A., CPFD Software
Pendergrass, J., CPFD Software
Blaser, P., CPFD, LLC
Karri, R., Particulate Solid Research, Inc.
Knowlton, T., Particulate Solid Research, Inc.
Freireich, B., Particulate Solid Research, Inc.
Cocco, R., Particulate Solid Research, Inc.
Fluidized bed reactors have distinct advantages over other reactor unit operations such as superior heat transfer and solids mobility. While the superior heat transfer has sparked breakthrough technologies in processes such as gasification, acrylonitrile and oxychlorination, it is the solids mobility benefits that are being exploited today. This mobility allows solids or sets of solids to move from reduction to oxidation zones in a continuous fashion thereby reducing operational complexity and capital costs. As a result, processes once considered impossible are being implemented where particulate feeds stocks and media are combined and separated in fluidized bed unit operations to provide superior yields unattainable on a commercial-scale with other reactor designs.

Encina Chemicals has capitalized on this solids mobility benefit for a coal upgrading process. Along with coal upgrading, the process provides the continuous regeneration of heat transfer media together with the separation of ash byproduct. The effect of complex economic drivers and resulting design criteria on required fluidization hydrodynamics are managed by combining cold-flow hydrodynamic testing with CFD modeling insights. This enables rapid hypothesis testing and scale-up practices with faster time to commercialization of an optimum design. This paper discusses the approach used to combine cold-flow hydrodynamics research with CFD simulation for rapid process commercialization considering relevant economic and technological drivers.