Spouted Fluid Beds for Chemical Looping Combustion/Gasification

Period of Performance: 02/22/2016 - 11/16/2016


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Envergex, Llc
10 Podunk Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of North Dakota
243 Centennial Drive
Grand Forks, ND 58202
Institution POC


This SBIR/STTR project targets the development of a validated modeling/design tool for predicting the behavior of spouted fluidizied beds for chemical looping combustion/gasification applications of coal and biomass fuels and fuel blends. Chemical looping is an advanced energy conversion technology for generating a pure CO2 effluent, which can then be sequestered or utilized. A spouted fluidized bed has been proposed as a key component to overcome challenges related to achieving high CO2 separation efficiencies, to increase reliability, and to potentially lower attrition/agglomeration of the circulating solid oxygen carrier. Manipulating the design and operation of the fluid bed to achieve the desired outcomes for a large-scale power plant requires a validated modeling tool. As part of this project, we will bring together relevant experimental testing to obtain validation data and a modeling effort that will describe the primary hydrodynamic behavior, heat transfer, and fuel transformation reactions. Phase I will involve bench-scale testing of chemical looping combustion in a spouted fluid bed reactor. Modeling will be carried out employing an open source multiphase fluid dyanamic code (MFIX) with the addition of user-defined subroutines. Model calculations will be compared to relevant data to calibrate the overall model and the specific subroutines. Phase II work will likely involve the use of a scaled-up system for validation data collection and 3-D modeling. It is critical to have a validated modeling tool for fluid bed-based chemical looping combustion to develop scaled-up designs of equipment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal and biomass fuels in power generation. The proposed work aims to develop such a modeling tool for widespread use in research and industry. Commercial Application and Other Benefits: The proposed technology will facilitate the development of a tool for designing full-scale chemical looping technology, a potentially attractive approach for carbon dioxide capture and emissions mitigation, and the use of fluidized beds in power generation and fuel conversion. It can be used in the optimization of other industrial applications that may deploy fluid beds: in various drying processes; in granulation such as with fertilizer (urea) production; in the pharmaceutical industry, with coatings for tablets; and in animal feed production to incorporate supplements such as fish oil and vitamins.