Fuel Flexibility in Gasification

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In order to increase efficiencies of carbonizers, operation at high pressures is needed. In addition, waste biomass fuels of opportunity can be used to offset fossil fuel use. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Fluidized Bed Gasifier/Combustor (FBG/C) was used to gasify coal and mixtures of coal and biomass (sawdust) at 425 psig. The purpose of the testing program was to generate steady state operating data for modeling efforts of carbonizers. A test program was completed with a matrix of parameters varied one at a time in order to avoid second order interactions. Variables were: coal feed rate, pressure, and ... continued below

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17 pages

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McLendon, T. Robert; Pineault, Richard L.; Richardson, Steven W.; Rockey, John M.; Beer, Stephen K. (U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory); Lui, Alain P. et al. November 6, 2001.

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Description

In order to increase efficiencies of carbonizers, operation at high pressures is needed. In addition, waste biomass fuels of opportunity can be used to offset fossil fuel use. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Fluidized Bed Gasifier/Combustor (FBG/C) was used to gasify coal and mixtures of coal and biomass (sawdust) at 425 psig. The purpose of the testing program was to generate steady state operating data for modeling efforts of carbonizers. A test program was completed with a matrix of parameters varied one at a time in order to avoid second order interactions. Variables were: coal feed rate, pressure, and varying mixtures of sawdust and coal types. Coal types were Montana Rosebud subbituminous and Pittsburgh No. 8 bituminous. The sawdust was sanding waste from a furniture manufacturer in upstate New York. Coal was sieved from -14 to +60 mesh and sawdust was sieved to -14 mesh. The FBG/C operates at a nominal 425 psig, but pressures can be lowered. For the tests reported it was operated as a jetting, fluidized bed, ash-agglomerating gasifier. Preheated air and steam are injected into the center of the bottom along with the solid feed that is conveyed with cool air. Fairly stable reactor internal flow patterns develop and temperatures stabilize (with some fluctuations) when steady state is reached. At nominal conditions the solids residence time in the reactor is on the order of 1.5 to 2 hours, so changes in feed types can require on the order of hours to equilibrate. Changes in operating conditions (e.g. feed rate) usually require much less time. The operating periods of interest for these tests were only the steady state periods, so transient conditions were not monitored as closely. The test matrix first established a base case of operations to which single parameter changes in conditions could be compared. The base case used Montana Rosebud at a coal feed rate of 70 lbm/hr at 425 psig. The coal sawdust mixtures are reported as percent by weight coal to percent by weight sawdust. The mixtures of interest were: 65/35 subbituminous, 75/25 subbituminous, 85/15 subbituminous, and 75/25 bituminous. Steady state was achieved quickly when going from one subbituminous mixture to another, but longer when going from subbituminous to bituminous coal. The most apparent observation when comparing the base case to subbituminous coal/sawdust mixtures is that operating conditions are nearly the same. Product gas does not change much in composition and temperatures remain nearly the same. Comparisons of identical weight ratios of sawdust and subbituminous and bituminous mixtures show considerable changes in operating conditions and gas composition. The highly caking bituminous coal used in this test swelled up and became about half as dense as the comparable subbituminous coal char. Some adjustments were required in accommodating changes in solids removal during the test. Nearly all the solids in the bituminous coal sawdust were conveyed into the upper freeboard section and removed at the mid-level of the reactor. This is in marked contrast to the ash-agglomerating condition where most solids are removed at the very bottom of the gasifier. Temperatures in the bottom of the reactor during the bituminous test were very high and difficult to control. The most significant discovery of the tests was that the addition of sawdust allowed gasification of a coal type that had previously resulted in nearly instant clinkering of the gasifier. Several previous attempts at using Pittsburgh No. 8 were done only at the end of the tests when shutdown was imminent anyway. It is speculated that the fine wood dust somehow coats the pyrolyzed sticky bituminous coal particles and prevents them from agglomerating quickly. As the bituminous coal char particles swell, they are carried to the cooler upper regions of the reactor where they re-solidify. Other interesting phenomena were revealed regarding the transport (rheological) properties of the coal sawdust mixtures. The coal sawdust mixtures segregate quickly when transported. This is visibly apparent. To prevent bridges and ratholes from developing in the lowest coal feed hopper, it is normally fluidized. When feeding the coal sawdust mixtures the fluidizing gas was turned off to prevent segregation. The feed system worked as well with no fluidizing gas when using the mixtures as it did with fluidizing gas and only coal. In addition, it was inadvertently discovered that greatly increased pressure above the feeder resulted in greatly increased flow with the mixtures. Increased pressure above the feeder with coal only results in quickly plugging the feed system. Also, it was learned that addition of sawdust reduces the system loss during conveying compared to coal only. This is in spite of overall smaller particle sizes with the coal sawdust mixtures.

Physical Description

17 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00832831

Source

  • Vision 21 Program Review Meeting, Morgantown, WV (US), 11/06/2001--11/07/2001

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: None
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 832831
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc784711

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  • November 6, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • March 24, 2016, 9:54 p.m.

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McLendon, T. Robert; Pineault, Richard L.; Richardson, Steven W.; Rockey, John M.; Beer, Stephen K. (U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory); Lui, Alain P. et al. Fuel Flexibility in Gasification, article, November 6, 2001; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc784711/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.