Design and cold flow testing of a Gas-Solid Vortex Reactor demonstration unit for biomass fast pyrolysis

Arturo Gonzalez-Quiroga, Pieter A. Reyniers, Shekhar R. Kulkarni, Maria M. Torregrosa, Patrice Perreault, Geraldine J. Heynderickx, Kevin M. Van Geem*, Guy B. Marin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Innovative gas-solid fluidized beds with process intensification capabilities are among the most promising alternatives for the current state of the art in the chemical industry. In the present work the advantages of such a reactor that sustains a rotating fluidized bed with gas-solid slip velocities much higher than those in conventional fluidized beds are illustrated computationally and experimentally. A Gas-Solid Vortex Reactor (GSVR) demonstration unit is designed to operate at typical biomass fast pyrolysis conditions targeting the production of chemicals and fuels from renewable feedstocks. For the demonstration unit preheated N2 supplies the thermal energy required by the fast pyrolysis process but alternative sources can also be evaluated. A broad range of operation conditions in the 80 mm diameter and 15 mm height GSVR can be evaluated: N2 mass flow rates of 5–10 g s−1 and biomass feed mass flow rates of 0.14–1.4 g s−1. Particle-free and particulate flow experiments confirmed that the carrier gas is evenly distributed around the GSVR cylindrical chamber as anticipated by computational fluid dynamic simulations. The latter also supported the inclusion of a profiled bottom end wall and a diverging exhaust. Cold flow experiments with biomass confirmed that the GSVR sustains a rotating fluidized bed with average bed height of 10 mm and solids azimuthal velocities of 6–7 m s−1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-210
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume329
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ERC grant agreement n° 290793 and the‘Long Term Structural Methusalem Funding by the Flemish Government’. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 664876. The SBO proposal ‘‘Bioleum” supported by the Institute for Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT) is acknowledged. The computational work was carried out using the STEVIN Supercomputer Infrastructure at Ghent University, funded by Ghent University, the Flemish Supercomputer Center (VSC), the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish Government – department EWI. Pieter Reyniers acknowledges financial support from a doctoral fellowship from the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). Dr. Vladimir Shtern is acknowledged for the scientific discussions on swirling jets and the GSVR diverging exhaust.

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ERC grant agreement n° 290793 and the‘Long Term Structural Methusalem Funding by the Flemish Government’. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 664876. The SBO proposal ‘‘Bioleum” supported by the Institute for Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT) is acknowledged. The computational work was carried out using the STEVIN Supercomputer Infrastructure at Ghent University, funded by Ghent University , the Flemish Supercomputer Center (VSC), the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish Government – department EWI. Pieter Reyniers acknowledges financial support from a doctoral fellowship from the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). Dr. Vladimir Shtern is acknowledged for the scientific discussions on swirling jets and the GSVR diverging exhaust.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Bio-oil
  • Biomass
  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Fluidized bed
  • Process intensification
  • Reactors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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