Refractory for Black Liquor Gasifiers Page: 3 of 20
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DOE Award Number: 26-03NT41491.002
The University of Missouri-Rolla identified materials that permit the safe, reliable and
economical operation of combined cycle gasifiers by the pulp and paper industry. The
primary emphasis of this project was to resolve the material problems encountered during
the operation of low-pressure high-temperature (LPHT) and low-pressure low-
temperature (LPLT) gasifiers while simultaneously understanding the materials barriers
to the successful demonstration of high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) black liquor
gasifiers. This study attempted to define the chemical, thermal and physical conditions in
current and proposed gasifier designs and then modify existing materials and develop
new materials to successfully meet the formidable material challenges.
Resolving the material challenges of black liquor gasification combined cycle technology
will provide energy, environmental, and economic benefits that include higher thermal
efficiencies, up to three times greater electrical output per unit of fuel, and lower
emissions. In the near term, adoption of this technology will allow the pulp and paper
industry greater capital effectiveness and flexibility, as gasifiers are added to increase
mill capacity. In the long term, combined-cycle gasification will lessen the industry's
environmental impact while increasing its potential for energy production, allowing the
production of all the mill's heat and power needs along with surplus electricity being
returned to the grid. An added benefit will be the potential elimination of the possibility
of smelt-water explosions, which constitute an important safety concern wherever
conventional Tomlinson recovery boilers are operated.
Developing cost-effective materials with improved performance in gasifier environments
may be the best answer to the material challenges presented by black liquor gasification.
Refractory materials were selected/developed that either react with the gasifier
environment to form protective surfaces in-situ; and were functionally-graded to give the
best combination of thermal, mechanical, and physical properties and chemical stability;
or are relatively inexpensive, reliable repair materials. Material development were
divided into 2 tasks:
Task 1, Development and property determinations of improved and existing refractory
systems for black liquor containment. Refractory systems of interest include magnesium
aluminate and barium aluminate for binder materials, both dry and hydratable, and
materials with high alumina contents, 85-95 wt%, aluminum oxide, 5.0-15.0 wt%, and
BaO, SrO, CaO, ZrO2 and SiC.
Task 2, Finite element analysis of heat flow and thermal stress/strain in the refractory
lining and steel shell of existing and proposed vessel designs. Stress and strain due to
thermal and chemical expansion has been observed to be detrimental to the lifespan of
existing black liquor gasifiers. The thermal and chemical strain as well as corrosion rates
must be accounted for in order to predict the lifetime of the gasifier containment
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Jr, William L. Headrick; Karakus, Musa & Liang, Xiaoting. Refractory for Black Liquor Gasifiers, report, October 1, 2005; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc778034/m1/3/: accessed April 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.