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Numerical Simulation of Catalytic Upgrading of Biomass Pyrolysis Vapours in a FCC Riser

Ranganathan, Panneerselvam and Gu, Sai (2017) Numerical Simulation of Catalytic Upgrading of Biomass Pyrolysis Vapours in a FCC Riser Fuel Processing Technology, 171. pp. 162-172.

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Catalytic upgrading of biomass pyrolysis vapours is a potential method for the production of hydrocarbon fuel intermediates. This work attempts to study the catalytic upgrading of pyrolysis vapours in a pilot scale FCC riser in terms of hydrodynamics, Residence Time Distribution (RTD) and chemical reactions by CFD simulation. NREL’s Davison Circulating Riser (DCR) reactor was used for this investigation. CFD simulation was performed using 2-D Eulerian–Eulerian method which is computationally less demanding than the alternative Euler-Lagrangian method. First, the hydrodynamic model of the riser reactor was validated with the experimental results. A single study of time-averaged solid volume fraction and pressure drop datas was used for the validation. The validated hydrodynamic model was extended to simulate hydrodynamic behaviors and catalyst RTD in the Davison Circulating Riser (DCR) reactor. Furthermore, the effects on catalyst RTD were investigated for optimising catalyst performance by varying gas and catalyst flow rates. Finally, the catalytic upgrading of pyrolysis vapours in the DCR riser was attempted for the first time by coupling CFD model with kinetics. A kinetic model for pyrolysis vapours upgrading using a lumping kinetic approach was implemented to quantify the yields of products. Five lumping components, including aromatic hydrocarbons, coke, non–condensable gas, aqueous fraction, and non–volatile heavy compounds (residue) were considered. It was found that the yield of lumping components obtained from the present kinetic model is very low. Thus, the further research needs to be carried out in the area of the kinetic model development to improve the yield prediction.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemical and Process Engineering
Authors :
Ranganathan, Panneerselvam
Date : 23 November 2017
DOI : 10.1016/j.fuproc.2017.11.008
Copyright Disclaimer : Crown Copyright © 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords : Biomass; Biofuels; Pyrolysis vapours; FCC riser; CFD; Upgrading
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 20 Nov 2017 14:20
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:04

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