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CFD MODELLING OF THERMO-CHEMICAL PROCESS IN CATALYTIC PYROLYSIS OF SAWDUST IN BUBBLING FLUIDIZED BEDS

Nanhang Dong
Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton, UK

Sai Gu
Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton; School of Engineering, Cranfield University, UK

Lindsay-Marie Armstrong
Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton, UK

Konstantinos Papadikis
Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton, UK

Kaihong Luo
Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, University of Southampton, UK

Abstract

Simulation of catalytic cracking of sawdust samples has been carried out in bubbling fluidized beds with in situ catalyst. The techniques of bio-oil upgrading are one of the critical issues in industrial applications. Computational modelling of thermochemical processing of biomass can be quite complex, since it involves the interaction of multiphase flow dynamics coupled with chemical reaction. The current work presents a numerical model that investigates the online catalytic upgrading of fast pyrolysis derived tars. The Eulerian-Eulerian approach is employed to model the multiphase flow in fluidized beds, coupled with the Kinetic Theory of Granular Flows. The kinetic scheme for catalytic pyrolysis is incorporated into the simulation to represent the decomposition of biomass. The simulation results show that the convection processes dominate the heating up of the sawdust particles while the space time, the ratio of catalyst mass to tar flow rate, can significantly influence the final product yield distribution.

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