Authors: L. Massaro Sousa a,b, Benjamin Amblard a,b, Sina Tebianian a
a Process Design and Modeling Division, IFP Energies Nouvelles, Rond-Point Échangeur de Solaize, 69360 Solaize, France
b Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology, Faculty of Engineering & Science, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham ME4 4TB, UK
Source: This paper was published in Chemical Engineering Science.
Abstract: Stable feeding of biomass powders into reactors represents a technical operational challenge for renewable energy generation. The injection of sawdust powders has been recently published with a horizontal pressurized gas injector under several experimental conditions. Valid numerical models based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are useful for hydrodynamics characterization of different equipment scales. In this study, the applicability of the CFD multiphase particle-in-cell approach (MP-PIC) for the considered injector is investigated. The model is tested under different operating conditions, showing relative deviations lower than 14% and 2% respectively for solids flux and flow concentration experimental data. The effect of model inputs (mesh refinement, drag model, particle-to-wall interaction) on the system’s hydrodynamics is discussed. The gas–solid flow hydrodynamics is obtained from the simulations providing additional insight on pulsed biomass transport. Ultimately, the model is used to investigate different injector diameters and to propose a feeder operation map as a function of dimensionless parameters.