Chemical Process Models for Supercritical Water Oxidation of Toxic Organic Materials

Period of Performance: 07/17/1997 - 01/20/1998

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

CFD Research Corp.
701 McMillian Way NW Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
Institution POC

Abstract

The proposed work will develop and integrated, experimentally tested process model for Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) of toxic organic waste, The model will include (i) advanced thermodynamic models for local fluid properties, (ii) advanced kinetic models for waste hydrolysis and oxidation in SCW, (iii) models for salt formation and deposition on surfaces, and (iv) a general purpose commercial Computational fluid Dynamics (CFD) code capable of simulating fluid transport, heat/mass transfer, gas/surface chemistry and particle transport/deposition in the reactor. In addition, the above models will be interfaced to a process simulator to generate equipment design parameters for major items upstream and downstream of the reactor and to perform an economic analysis consisting of capital and operating costs. The work will be performed by CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC), OLI Systems, Inc. (OLI) and the MIT Energy Laboratory (MIT). Phase I will demonstrate proof-of-concept coupling of OLI thermodynamic models and MIT kinetic and salt formation/deposition models into CFDRC's general purpose commercial code, CFD-ACE. The coupled code will be tested against simulant waste destruction observed in an MIT bench-top reactor. A preliminary interfacing with a process simulator, ASPEN PLUS will also be accomplished during Phase I. The Phase II work will focus on further refinements to the physical models, detailed validation studies and demonstration of the software on a production SCWO systems. The proposed development of a chemical process model will be an enabling technology to facilitate the commercialization and broader application of SCWO processes for the destruction of chemically complex wastes. This will have military applications (for the cleanup of toxic chemical warfare agents as well as civilian applicaitons (fir the disposal of organic wastes from chemical industries , municipal sewage, etc.).