Publication | Peer reviewed papers | Modellierung und Simulation

Multi-scale modelling of fluidized bed biomass gasification using a 1D particle model coupled to CFD

Published 15 September 2022

Citation: von Berg L, Anca-Couce A, Hochenauer C, Scharler R. Multi-scale modelling of fluidized bed biomass gasification using a 1D particle model coupled to CFD. Fuel. 15 September 2022.324:124677


For many fluidized bed applications, the particle movement inside the reactor is accompanied by reactions at the particle scale. The current study presents for the first time in literature a multi-scale modelling approach coupling a one-dimensional volumetric particle model with the dense discrete phase model (DDPM) of ANSYS Fluent via user defined functions. To validate the developed modelling approach, the current study uses experimental data of pressure drop, temperature and gas composition obtained with a lab-scale bubbling fluidized bed biomass gasifier. Therefore, a particle model developed previously for pyrolysis was modified implementing a heat transfer model valid for fluidized bed conditions as well as kinetics for char gasification taken from literature. The kinetic theory of granular flow is used to describe particle–particle interactions allowing for feasible calculation times at the reactor level whereas an optimized solver is employed to guarantee a fast solution at the particle level. A newly developed initialization routine uses an initial bed of reacting particles at different states of conversion calculated previously with a standalone version of the particle model. This allows to start the simulation at conditions very close to stable operation of the reactor. A coupled multi-scale simulation of over 30 s of process time employing 300.000 inert bed parcels and about 25.000 reacting fuel parcels showed good agreement with experimental data at a feasible calculation time. Furthermore, the developed approach allows for an in-depth analysis of the processes inside the reactor allowing to track individual reacting particles while resolving gradients inside the particle.

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