Coarse Grained CFD‐DEM Simulation of Sands and Biomass Fluidization with a Hybrid Drag

L. Lu, M. Shahnam, W. A. Rogers, X. Gao
AIChE Journal
biomass, CFD‐DEM, Coarse grain, Fast pyrolysis, non‐spherical drag

The bubbling fluidized bed reactor is widely used in fast pyrolysis of biomass. Discrete simulation of this reactor is challenging due to many sand particles and lack of accurate drag corrections accounting for the interaction of two different solid particles with different properties. In this research, the computational cost is reduced by using the Coarse‐Grained Computational Fluid Dynamic Discrete Element Method (CFD‐DEM), where many sand particles are lumped into a larger numerical parcel. The Syamlal‐O’Brien drag model is used for sand, while Ganser correction coupled with Gidaspow model is used for the non‐spherical biomass particles. This hybrid approach shows superior behavior over other drag models using pressure drops as a benchmark. The predicted bed height and pressure fluctuating frequencies compare well with experiment. The mixing of biomass is close to perfect if the superficial velocity is larger than four times the minimum fluidization velocity.

Keywords: fast pyrolysis, non‐spherical drag, biomass, coarse grain, CFD‐DEM