Thermochemical conversion of biomass in a Swirling Fluidized Bed: a design procedure and numerical simulation
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Pinilla Fernández, Daniel Armando
Process intensification of biomass conversion as a route to a low-carbon manufacturing industry pursues novel solutions able to achieve safe, cost-efficient, energy-efficient, and environment-friendly processes. Implementation of process intensification in gas-solid operations enhances mass, heat, and momentum transfer rates, while develops multifunctional equipment to increase production capacity per size of installation. The Swirling Fluidized Bed reactor is a gas-solid contacting device that replaces the Earth's gravitational field with a centrifugal field generating a centrifugal bed that achieves more uniform beds, higher transfer rates, and shorter processing times than conventional fluidized beds. However, there is a gap of research in two points: a binary-phase numerical simulation to study both gas and solid hydrodynamics, and the constructive design of the swirling fluidized bed reactor related to expected operating conditions. In the present work, a design procedure of swirling fluidized beds for thermochemical conversion of biomass is proposed. The study of the swirling fluidized bed reactor comprises three stages: a systematic literature review, a numerical simulation of the reactor, and the development of the design procedure. The simulation gives insight of the SFB reactor operation useful for the decision making during early stages of design. Thermochemical and mechanical models together with technical procedures are used for the reactor design. The proposed design shows good agreement with an operational reactor used for rice husk combustion.