On the Modeling of a Single-Stage, Entrained-Flow Gasifier Using Aspen Custom Modeler

Thursday, November 11, 2010: 1:45 PM
Brighton Room (Marriott Downtown)
Job Kasule1, Richard Turton2, Debangsu Bhattacharyya1 and Stephen E. Zitney3, (1)Department of Chemical Engg., West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, (2)Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, (3)Collaboratory for Process and Dynamic Systems Research, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Morgantown, WV

Coal-fired gasifiers are the centerpiece of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants. The gasifier produces synthesis gas that is subsequently converted into electricity through combustion in a gas turbine. Several mathematical models have been developed to study the physical and chemical processes taking place inside the gasifier. Such models range from simple one-dimensional (1D) steady-state models to sophisticated dynamic 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models that incorporate turbulence effects in the reactor. The practical operation of the gasifier is dynamic in nature but most 1D and some higher-dimensional models are often steady state. On the other hand, many higher order CFD-based models are dynamic in nature, but are too computationally expensive to be used directly in operability and controllability dynamic studies. They are also difficult to incorporate in the framework of process simulation software such as Aspen Plus Dynamics. Thus lower-dimensional dynamic models are still useful in these types of studies.

In the current study, a 1D dynamic model for a single-stage, downward-firing, entrained-flow GE-type gasifier is developed using Aspen Custom Modeler® (ACM), which is a commercial equation-based simulator for creating, editing, and re-using models of process units. The gasifier model is based on mass, momentum, and energy balances for the solid and gas phases. The physical and chemical reactions considered in the model are drying, devolatilization/pyrolysis, gasification, combustion, and the homogeneous gas phase reactions. The dynamic gasifier model is being developed for use in a plant-wide dynamic model of an IGCC power plant.

For dynamic simulation, the resulting highly nonlinear system of partial differential algebraic equations (PDAE) is solved in ACM using the well-known Method of Lines (MoL) approach. The MoL discretizes the space domain and leaves the time domain continuous, thereby converting the PDAE to a differential algebraic equation (DAE) system with respect to time. The DAE system is solved using a variable-step implicit Euler integrator. For steady-state simulations, the set of nonlinear algebraic equations are solved using a Newton-type method.

In this presentation, preliminary results from the steady-state non-isothermal gasifier model will be reported. Comparisons of the results from the gasifier model to available pilot plant data, industrial gasifier data, and other published models will be made. Sensitivity studies will be presented for different types of coal and operating conditions.


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