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Partic. vol. 46 pp. 22-29 (October 2019)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2019.03.004

Estimation of solids circulation rate and char transfer rate from gasifier to combustor in a dual fluidized-bed pilot plant for biomass steam gasification

M. Hafizur Rahman, Lius Daniel, Ujash Shah, Xiaotao Bi*, John R. Grace, C. Jim Lim

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xbi@chbe.ubc.ca

Highlights

    • A novel mass and energy balance method was developed to estimate solids flow rate. • This method also provides the char transfer rate from the gasifier to the combustor. • Gasifier heat loss obtained from two independent techniques matched well. • Estimated solids flow rates compared well with rates measured by another technique. • No other technique can determine char transfer rate from a gasifier to a combustor.

Abstract

Operation of a dual fluidized bed, consisting of a riser as combustor and bubbling bed as gasifier, for synthesis gas production from a solid fuel requires determination of the solids circulation rate and char transfer rate. The performance relies on supplying sufficient heat from the combustor to the gasifier by circulation of solids between these two reactors. The flow rate of char is required to track the heat generated in the combustor, which supports endothermic reactions in the gasifier. Direct measurement of these two critical parameters is difficult, with the number of reported techniques capable of working at high temperatures extremely small. An indirect method was developed, using mass and energy balances over the entire system and individual reactors, to estimate the solids circulation rate and char transfer rate. There was general agreement between heat losses estimated from energy-balance calculations and from direct measurement of the outer reactor surface temperature. Under typical gasification conditions, the solids circulation fluxes were estimated to be 45.2 and 55.6 kg/(m2 s) in two independent tests, which were in good agreement with values obtained using a thermal tracer; char transfer rates were calculated to be 1.2 and 0.6 kg/h, which were in reasonable agreement with average biomass feed rates. This method can be applied to dual gasification systems at any temperature or flow rate.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Solids circulation rate; Char transfer rate; Pilot-plant gasifier; Dual fluidized bed; Mass and energy balance