Authors: Christopher McIntyre a
a University of Ottawa
Source: This paper was published in the University of Ottawa’s theses library in 2021.
Abstract: Pressurized chemical looping combustion (PCLC) is a promising next generation carbon capture technology which operates on the fundamentals of oxyfuel combustion to concentrate carbon dioxide in the flue gas stream. Oxygen is supplied through cyclic oxidation and reduction of a solid metal oxide between an air reactor and fuel reactor to prevent the direct contact of fuel and air. CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, in collaboration with Hatch Ltd., is designing a pilot scale PCLC system which uses ilmenite as the oxygen carrier and a novel fluidized bed design called the Plug Flow Internally-recirculating Reactor (PFIR). The PFIR consists of an annular bubbling fluidized region in which particles are circulated by angle jets through two reactive zones separated by baffles. The overall objective of this thesis was to provide key design parameters and insight for the construction of the pilot facility. Experimental work was first conducted investigating the minimum fluidization velocity (Umf), gas bubble size, and tube-to-bed heat transfer coefficients of different ilmenite particle size distributions (PSDs) at varying pressures up to 2000 kPa. The data was compared to a variety of literature correlations. The Saxena & Vogel (1977) constants for the Wen-Yu type correlations (𝑅𝑒𝑚𝑓=√𝐶12+𝐶2𝐴𝑟−𝐶1) resulted in the best fit for predicting the Umf of the PSDs with Sauter mean diameters (SMD) less than 109 μm, while the Chitester et al. (1984) constants resulted in better predictions for the larger particle size distributions (SMD greater than 236 μm). Gas bubble size was found to be marginally impacted by pressure, with the Mori & Wen (1975) correlation best fitting the data. The heat transfer coefficient was found to also be marginally increased by pressure with the Molerus et al. (1995) correlation matching the atmospheric data. A computational particle fluid dynamic (CPFD) model of the experimental unit was then created and validated using the obtained data for minimum fluidization velocity and bubble size. The accuracy of the model was found to be dependent on the particle close packing factor input variable, with a value of 0.58 resulting in the best results for each of the ilmenite PSDs modeled. Finally, a CPFD model was created for a cold flow design of the PFIR to investigate the impacts of different operating parameters on the solids circulation rate and gas infiltration rate between the two reactor zones. This model used the validated parameters of the previous CPFD model to add confidence to the results. The impacts of increasing superficial gas velocity, fluidizing gas jet velocity, bed height, and pressure were all found to increase the solids circulation rate through their respective impacts on the momentum rate of the fluidizing gas. A polynomial function was fit between these two variables resulting in a method to predict the solids circulation rate. Similarly, the rate of gas infiltration between sections was found to be dependent on the solids circulation rate, allowing for a function to be made to predict the gas infiltration at different operating conditions.