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High-Pressure Coal Combustion: Char Burnout Behavior

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SRI International has used its long residence time-radiant coal flow reactor (LRT-RCFR) facility to determine the effects of pressure on the burnout of chars and on the physical properties of chars and ash. Three coals were studied: two high volatile bituminous (Pittsburgh #8 and Illinois #6) and one subbituminous (Powder River Basin, PRB). Tests were conducted at 0.2, 1, 2, and 3 MPa. Stoichiometric ratios and residence times were varied to achieve char burnout levels from 50% to 100%. Tests were also conducted on Pittsburgh #8 coal in CO2 entrainment gas at 0.2, 1, and 2 MPa to begin establishing a database of experiments relevant to oxyfuel combustion technologies.

The results from the studies of near-burner flame zone (NBFZ) were used by Niksa Energy Associates, LLC (NEA) to develop a complex set of flow and combustion simulations that accurately represent those results. In the process, NEA fine-tuned the chemical sub-models for volatiles, soot, and char burnout for high-pressure combustion of pulverized coal based on those results. The same simulations and chemical rates, in conjunction with the CBK/E char burnout model, were then applied to the high-pressure burnout (HPBO) results. It was found that this burnout model, together with char burnout rates derived from the NBFZ study, adequately simulated the burnout rates observed in these HPBO tests.

We noticed that there was significant ash loss for certain coal even during early stages of combustion, which prompted us to examine ash retention in char from the NBZF experiments. About 50% of ash was released from the char along with carbon burnout, while the remaining ash appeared to stay with the heavy char particles through the final stages of burnout.

These data are well-suited to serve as benchmarks for development of kinetic models for pyrolysis, gaseous and solid product production and burnout, and pollutant formation, as well as for characterizing char and ash properties.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2014

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