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Numerical Simulation of Combustion and Gasification of Biomass Particles

Hesameddin, Fatehi LU (2014)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in English

Most of us are familiar with using plant-derived material such as wood for producing heat for warming the cottages or cooking food when we are camping. Apart from that, plant-derived materials such as trees, forest residues, grasses, agricultural crops, agricultural residues and straw have great potential in producing energy in a larger scale. This group of material is referred to as biomass. Sweden has a great source of biomass as more than half of its area is covered with forest. Among the European countries, Sweden has the top share of using renewable energy sources which provide around 40% of the total energy of the country. The main reasons of recent attraction towards using renewable energy... (More)
Popular Abstract in English

Most of us are familiar with using plant-derived material such as wood for producing heat for warming the cottages or cooking food when we are camping. Apart from that, plant-derived materials such as trees, forest residues, grasses, agricultural crops, agricultural residues and straw have great potential in producing energy in a larger scale. This group of material is referred to as biomass. Sweden has a great source of biomass as more than half of its area is covered with forest. Among the European countries, Sweden has the top share of using renewable energy sources which provide around 40% of the total energy of the country. The main reasons of recent attraction towards using renewable energy sources are the impact of fossil fuels in climate changes and concerns about permanency of the fossil fuels sources. In contrast to fossil fuels, biomass is renewable and can be CO2-natural if produced in a sustainable manner. The CO2 produced from combustion of biomass will be absorbed by the plants that will replace biomass in a shorter term. In this sense, there is much less increase in CO2 compared with the fossil fuels. As one of the green-house gases, CO2 is believed to have a great impact on climate changes and global warming and therefore it raises concerns about its environmental impacts. Although the replacement of fossil fuel such as coal with renewable sources like biomass can help in producing green energy, there are challenges and problems that should be addressed. Emission of harmful pollutants, deposition of remaining ash in the biomass combustion systems, and corrosion of these systems need to be understood in order to improve the efficiency and decrease the cost of energy production.

The aim of this thesis is to improve the understanding of the underlying physics of conversion of biomass to thermal energy in order to provide suggestions and solutions to improve the energy production system. The questions we are trying to answer are (a) how a biomass particle evolves during the conversion to thermal energy, (b) how various forms of pollutant are formed and released during biomass conversion, and (c) how to mathematically model the process with a balance between the computational time and accuracy of the results. Mathematical equations representing the physical phenomena are solved using numerical methods with the help of advanced computational programs. A biomass conversion model is developed which is comprehensive and can take into account the processes such as evaporation of moisture, decomposition of biomass, combustion of gases extracts from biomass decomposition, surface reactions of char and changes in the thermo-physical properties of the particle. The contributions of this thesis are (1) development of a comprehensive biomass conversion model with a reduced number of assumptions, (2) assessment of various modeling approaches and assumptions of different sub-models by comparison with several experimental measurements, such as the different moisture evaporation models and assumptions regarding moisture diffusion and vapor re-condensation, the kinetic scheme and rate constants of biomass decomposition process and the amount of heat required in this process, (3) development of chemical kinetic mechanism for the release of alkali metals, potassium and sodium, from biomass during combustion in high CO2 environment, (4) development of a multi pore structure for gasification of biomass char, and (5) development of a semi-empirical model for fixed-bed combustion. (Less)
Abstract
In this thesis, a numerical approach is adopted to study biomass thermochemical conversion. Detailed physical and chemical processes involved in the thermochemical conversion of biomass are considered. The aims are to improve the understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved and to develop and validate mathematical models for numerical simulation of the biomass conversion process. The main focus of the thesis work has been on large biomass particles under fixed bed conditions. The thermochemical conversion of single particle is first considered. A comprehensive detailed model is developed and evaluated; the results provide valuable insight into the underlying physics of thermochemical conversion of biomass. Based on the... (More)
In this thesis, a numerical approach is adopted to study biomass thermochemical conversion. Detailed physical and chemical processes involved in the thermochemical conversion of biomass are considered. The aims are to improve the understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved and to develop and validate mathematical models for numerical simulation of the biomass conversion process. The main focus of the thesis work has been on large biomass particles under fixed bed conditions. The thermochemical conversion of single particle is first considered. A comprehensive detailed model is developed and evaluated; the results provide valuable insight into the underlying physics of thermochemical conversion of biomass. Based on the comprehensive model a simplified model is proposed which takes into account some of the detailed reaction and transport process inside the particle at high computational efficiency. A two-dimensional model for the fuel bed of biomass furnace is developed and validated.

Mathematical description of various sub-processes involved in the conversion process is presented taking into account the main features of biomass conversion. Various approaches and assumptions for modeling the different sub-processes are assessed by comparing the numerical results with experimental measurements. Specifically, the different moisture evaporation models and assumptions regarding moisture diffusion and vapor re-condensation are investigated. The kinetic scheme and rate constants of devolatilization process are studied. A systematical approach is presented for the evaluation of the heat of pyrolysis which ensures elemental mass and energy balance. The effects of shrinkage on the particle and the change of porosity and biomass density are considered in the mathematical modeling. The formation of ash around the particle, the ash melting at high temperature and the consequences on the particle conversion are investigated.

By means of a joint numerical study and advanced experimental measurements, a mechanism is proposed for the release of alkali metals from low chlorine biomass and the corresponding kinetic rate constants during devolatilization and char reaction stages are obtained. It is shown that the proposed model is able to predict the release behavior of the alkali metal during biomass gasification at various stages of the biomass conversion.

The heterogeneous char reactions at the regime II reaction is affected by both the intra-particle mass transfer and the chemical kinetic rates. The evolution of char porous structure can affect the conversion rate of the char. A model based on the classical capillary pores is developed taking into account different conversion rates for pores having different radii. This model is used to examine the contribution of each group of pores (micro, meso and macro-pores) in the conversion of biomass char. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Goncalves da Costa, Mario Manuel, Division of Environment and Energy Sciences, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Thermochemical Conversion, Pyrolysis, Gasification, Combustion, Biomass
defense location
Lecture hall MA4, Annexet, Sölvegatan 20, Lund University Faculty of Engineering
defense date
2014-05-21 10:15
ISSN
0282-1990
ISBN
978-91-7473-978-7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a163f695-c5ca-49ba-8283-5fea2f9e2260 (old id 4406381)
date added to LUP
2014-04-29 13:53:12
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:01
@misc{a163f695-c5ca-49ba-8283-5fea2f9e2260,
  abstract     = {In this thesis, a numerical approach is adopted to study biomass thermochemical conversion. Detailed physical and chemical processes involved in the thermochemical conversion of biomass are considered. The aims are to improve the understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved and to develop and validate mathematical models for numerical simulation of the biomass conversion process. The main focus of the thesis work has been on large biomass particles under fixed bed conditions. The thermochemical conversion of single particle is first considered. A comprehensive detailed model is developed and evaluated; the results provide valuable insight into the underlying physics of thermochemical conversion of biomass. Based on the comprehensive model a simplified model is proposed which takes into account some of the detailed reaction and transport process inside the particle at high computational efficiency. A two-dimensional model for the fuel bed of biomass furnace is developed and validated. <br/><br>
Mathematical description of various sub-processes involved in the conversion process is presented taking into account the main features of biomass conversion. Various approaches and assumptions for modeling the different sub-processes are assessed by comparing the numerical results with experimental measurements. Specifically, the different moisture evaporation models and assumptions regarding moisture diffusion and vapor re-condensation are investigated. The kinetic scheme and rate constants of devolatilization process are studied. A systematical approach is presented for the evaluation of the heat of pyrolysis which ensures elemental mass and energy balance. The effects of shrinkage on the particle and the change of porosity and biomass density are considered in the mathematical modeling. The formation of ash around the particle, the ash melting at high temperature and the consequences on the particle conversion are investigated. <br/><br>
By means of a joint numerical study and advanced experimental measurements, a mechanism is proposed for the release of alkali metals from low chlorine biomass and the corresponding kinetic rate constants during devolatilization and char reaction stages are obtained. It is shown that the proposed model is able to predict the release behavior of the alkali metal during biomass gasification at various stages of the biomass conversion. <br/><br>
The heterogeneous char reactions at the regime II reaction is affected by both the intra-particle mass transfer and the chemical kinetic rates. The evolution of char porous structure can affect the conversion rate of the char. A model based on the classical capillary pores is developed taking into account different conversion rates for pores having different radii. This model is used to examine the contribution of each group of pores (micro, meso and macro-pores) in the conversion of biomass char.},
  author       = {Hesameddin, Fatehi},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-978-7},
  issn         = {0282-1990},
  keyword      = {Thermochemical Conversion,Pyrolysis,Gasification,Combustion,Biomass},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Numerical Simulation of Combustion and Gasification of Biomass Particles},
  year         = {2014},
}