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EFFECT OF PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION AND PARTICLE LOADING ON GRADE PARTICLE SEPARATION EFFICIENCY OF LARGE CYCLONE

Dr. Zhihong Liu, Dr. Toshiyuki Suda

IHI Corporation, Japan

Introduction

Fluidized bed combustion is typically used to burn fuels, such as low-quality coal, biomass and waste. In circulating fluidized beds, for example, cyclones are used to separate bed material and ash from exhaust gas. Particle sizes of bed material and ash are likely to differ. Also, ashes from different fuels can be expected to have different Particle Size Distributions (PSD). On the other hand, in power or heat generation systems a thermal input demand can be achieved with fuels of different calorific values, leading to different fuel supply rates and, hence, different particle loads in the cyclone. Conventionally the total separation efficiency of a cyclone is predicted by integrating the of grade separation efficiency. It is merely recognized that such a procedure assume no effect of either PSD or particle loading on grade separation efficiency. This assumption, however, has never been validated. E. Muschelknautz et-al[1] point out that only a small fraction of particles is actually separated in the core of a cyclone, when the particle loading is increased; most particles descend along the wall in strands, thus yielding higher efficiencies. Y. Louge[2] report complex experimental results. Under some conditions, the efficiency increased with increased loading, while under other conditions, the efficiency decreased with increased loading. They point out that no existing model was able to resemble results [2]. No paper can be found by authors in the literature, which are concerned with the effect of PSD on separation efficiency. The objective of this study is to investigate effects of PSD and particle loading on grade efficiency. The numerical studies are performed with Barracuda, a commercial code, in which the EulerLagrange approach is used. First, the applicability of the code is demonstrated by comparing calculated results with measure data taken from the literature. Then, the code is used to study the efficiency of a large centrifugal cyclone with a diameter of five meters. The mixtures of two kinds of particles, namely sand and ash, are employed. Ash contents of 1, 5 and 10 mass% in the sand/ash mixture are considered for particle size variation. Particle loadings are set to 15, 30 and 60 kg/(m2 s). The flow velocity at the inlet of the cyclone is kept constant. The numerical results reveal various effects of PSD and particle loading on grade separation efficiency.

Numerical Method and its Validation

Numerical Method in this Study Two approaches exit to study hydrodynamics of cyclones numerically. One is the Euler-Lagrange approach [3], in which fluid is described by Euler and particles are described by Lagrange. Another is the Euler-Euler approach [4], which regards the particles as continuous phase and both fluid and particles are described by the Euler. In this paper, the code BARRACUDA is used, which applies a Multiphase Particle in a Cell approach (Euler-Lagrange Hybrid) [5]. The particle movement is described by Lagrange, while the interaction between particles to particles is described by Euler.

The interaction between fluid and particle is described in terms of hydrodynamic drag. The drag coefficient is evaluated according to Eq.1.

{

(1)

Here, Re denotes particle Reynolds number and ε particle volume fraction. Meshes used in industrial simulations are too coarse to resolve fine fluid-dynamical phenomena in the wake of particles. Such effects are implemented in Eq.1.

Particle-to-particle collisions are accounted for as normal stress Eq.2.

Here,

denotes the close-pack limit.

(2)

Validation of the Numerical Code In order to evaluate the code, results obtained with BARRACUDA are compared with the measure data reported by Bricout and Louge [2]. Shape and size of their cyclone is shown in Fig.1. The particle size distribution (PSD) used in the experiment is shown in Fig.2. The particle density is 2530kg/m 3 .

is shown in Fig.2. The particle density is 2530kg/m 3 . Fig.1 Cyclone Geomitries Used in

Fig.1 Cyclone Geomitries Used in [2]

The particle density is 2530kg/m 3 . Fig.1 Cyclone Geomitries Used in [2] Fig.2 Particle Size

Fig.2 Particle Size Distribution Used in [2]

Two cases are compared. The Reynolds number based on the barrel diameter of the cyclone is 1.6×10 6 . Particle loadings M, defined as ratio of particle mass flow rate to gas flow rate at the cyclone inlet, are M=1.2 and M=4.4. Figure 3 shows the cumulative mass of escaping particles at top exit of the cyclone. It is seen that the results obtained with BARRACUDA agree with the measured data. It is concluded that the code can be used to investigate the effect of particle loading.

can be used to investigate the effect of particle loading. Fig.3 Comparison of Sepration Efficenicy between

Fig.3 Comparison of Sepration Efficenicy between Experiments and Claculations particle loading M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas)

Numerical Investigation

In order to investigate the effect of PSD and particle loading on the grade particle separation efficiency, the nine cases are calculated. Mixtures of sand and ash are employed in this study. To simplify the problem, it is assumed that both materials have the same particle density (2610kg/m 3 ). The PSD of sand, ash and their mixtures are shown in Fig. 5. Mass percentages of ash in the mixture are set to 1%, 5% and 10%. Since the ash particles are smaller than sand, a higher percentage of ash in the mixture means more small particles. The cases calculated are listed in table 1. The cyclone has industrial dimensions as shown in Fig. 4. Gas velocity at the cyclone inlet is 26m/s (Reynolds number based on barrel diameter is 8.2×10 6 ). The particles are divided into 90 classes by sizes. The size span is d=5.5μm.

1.8 1.8 1.8 4 5 6 12.5 1 (unit: m)
1.8
1.8
1.8
4
5
6
12.5
1
(unit: m)

Fig.4 Cyclone Geometry

Fig.5 Particle Size Distributions used in the Present

Table 1 Cyclone Operation Conditions

Particle Loading

M=0.5

M=1

M=2

Particle Size Distribution

α =1%

α =5%

α =10%

α =1%

α =5%

α =10%

α =1%

α =5%

α =10%

M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas) α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

Numerical Results and Discussions

The numerical simulations are unsteady calculations. After the calculations become statistically steady, time averaged quantities are obtained.

The grade particle separating efficiency

̇

̇

is defined as

(3)

where

exit. Class i denotes the particles with diameter between d i and d i +d. Both the effect of particle size distribution as well as particle loading on grade efficiency and pressure drop are investigated.

̇

is the mass rate of particles within class i at the cyclone inlet,

̇

is that at top

The Effect of Particle Size Distribution on the Grade Particle Separation Efficiency The effect of PSD on the grade efficiencyη(d i ) is investigated. Three kinds of PSD are used as obtained by 1, 5 and 10 mass% ash in the sand/ash mixture. Figure 6 shows the change grade particle separation efficiency with particle diameter for three particle loadings M=0.5, 1 and 2.

diameter for three particle loadings M=0.5, 1 and 2. a)particle loading M=0.5 b ) p a

a)particle loading M=0.5

particle loadings M=0.5, 1 and 2. a)particle loading M=0.5 b ) p a r t i

b)particle loading M=1

) p a r t i c l e l o a d i n g

c)particle loading M=2

Fig.6 Effect of Particle Size Distribution on Grade Separation Efficiency

M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas) α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

From Figure.6, it is readily seen that the grade separation efficiencyη(d i ) is strongly affected by PSD. The grade separation efficiency is higher for lower ash contentsα. Since lower ash content means fewer particles for a small particle class, the simulations reveal higher efficiencies for this class of particle. Similar results are obtained for different particle loading. Here the mechanism of effect of PSD will be discussed for the particle loading M=1. Figure 7 shows the particle volume fraction and the tangential component of gas velocity. Larger regions of high volume fraction can be recognized for larger ash contentα. F. Qian[6] suggest that the particles weaken the flow field when injected into the gas flow, causing an important decrease of vortex energy and consequently, a weakening tangential velocity. The numerical results obtained here indicate similar trends. In larger regions of high particle volume fraction the tangential gas velocity is seen to be lower. A lower tangential gas velocity also causes lower tangential particle velocity. Hence, centrifugal forces become weaker and lead to lower separation efficiency.

α =10%

α =5%

α =1%

particle

of

Fraction

Volume

Tangential Velocity of gas

Vol. Fra. of particle ε[-]
Vol.
Fra.
of
particle ε[-]
particle of Fraction Volume Tangential Velocity of gas Vol. Fra. of particle ε[-] V gas [m/s
particle of Fraction Volume Tangential Velocity of gas Vol. Fra. of particle ε[-] V gas [m/s
particle of Fraction Volume Tangential Velocity of gas Vol. Fra. of particle ε[-] V gas [m/s
particle of Fraction Volume Tangential Velocity of gas Vol. Fra. of particle ε[-] V gas [m/s
V gas [m/s ]
V gas [m/s ]

Fig.7 Volume Fraction and Tangential Velocity (M=1) M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas)=1 α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

The Effect of Particle Loading on Grade Particle Separation Efficiency The effect of particle loading on the grade separation efficiency is investigated by rearranging the results of Fig.6. For a given ash content, separation efficiency is plotted versus particle diameter for the three particle loadings in Fig. 8. Figures 8a, b, c show the results for ash contents of α=1%, 5% and 10%, respectively. From Fig.8 it can be concluded that mass loading has a weak effect on the grade separation efficiency. The efficiency is little higher for a larger loading. The same conclusion holds for different ash contents.

a) ash mass fraction α =1% b) ash mass fraction α =5% c) ash mass

a) ash mass fraction α=1%

a) ash mass fraction α =1% b) ash mass fraction α =5% c) ash mass fraction

b)

ash mass fraction α=5%

a) ash mass fraction α =1% b) ash mass fraction α =5% c) ash mass fraction

c)

ash mass fraction α=10%

Fig.8 Effect of Particle Loading on Grade Separation Efficiency M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas) α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

A B particle loading of one class(49<d<54.5μm) [kg/s] grade efficiency particle of one separation class
A
B
particle loading of one class(49<d<54.5μm) [kg/s]
grade efficiency particle of one separation class (49~54.5μm) efficiency

Fig.9 Effect of Particle Loading on Separation Efficiency by class M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas) α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

This issue is further examined for the particle loading of one class of particles, namely

p(d i )d, where p(d i ) is the mass fraction of all particles contained in class i. In other words, Fig.8 is re-plotted for one ‘bin’ of particle diameters, now weighted with the mass fraction of that bin compared to the total mass of particles injected. As an example, the particles with diameter between 49μmμm and 54.5μm are picked up in Fig.9. The change of separation efficiency with particle loading by class (as evaluated from ash content) is shown with total particle loading as parameter. It is found that if the particle loading of one class is the same, the cyclone with higher total particle loading yield a higher efficiency. It is also seen that for a given total particle loading, the cyclone with higher particle loading of one class yield lower separation efficiency. This is explained by loss of circumferential momentum as already mentioned earlier. The situation within the cyclone is highlighted in Figs.10 and 11 for the conditions marked A and B in Fig.9. The conditions A (M=1,α=5%) and B (M=0.5,α=10%) show almost the same particle loading for the particles with diameter between 49<d< and 54.5 μm. Figure10 shows the velocity field.

̇

×

Under condition A the flow field shows a stronger spiral movement downwards. It is anticipated that the small particles (49<di<54.5μm) are entrained in the wake of larger ones and thereby moved downwards, being separated from the gas. So, if the particle loading in one particle class is the same, a higher the separation efficiency is obtained for a higher particle load M.

mass flux

is obtained for a higher particle load M. mass flux of particle [kg/(m2 ・ s)] A(M=1,

of particle

[kg/(m2s)]

A(M=1,α=5%)

load M. mass flux of particle [kg/(m2 ・ s)] A(M=1, α =5%) B(M=0.5, α =10%) A

B(M=0.5,α=10%)

A and B have same particle loading(=0.28kg/s) in one particle class(49<d<54.5μm)

Fig.10 Particle mass Flux

M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas) α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

particle

velocity

Vz [m/s]

more downwards particles
more
downwards
particles
little downwards particles
little
downwards
particles

A(M=1,α=5%)

B(M=0.5,α=10%)

A and B have same particle loading(=0.28kg/s) in one particle class((49<d<54.5μm)

Fig.11 Downwards Velocity of One Class of Particles (49<d<54.5μm) M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas) α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

The Effect of PSD and Particle Loading on the Pressure Drop

The Effect of PSD and Particle Loading on the Pressure Drop Fig.12 Pressure drop M=(mass of

Fig.12 Pressure drop M=(mass of particle)/(mass of gas) α=(mass of ash)/ (mass of ash+mass of sand)

The pressure drop is an important parameter for cyclone design. It is defined as the pressure

at

cyclone inlet. The pressure drop for the cases investigated here is shown in Fig.12. It is seen that the pressure drop is almost constant for the particle loadings and ash contents investigated in this study. Louge’s experiment [2] also showed that the pressure drop only changes slightly when the particle loading is changed in the range between 1 and 5.

difference between the outlet and inlet of the cyclone, normalized by the dynamic pressure

Conclusion Remarks

Based on numerical calculation, the following conclusions can be drawn.

1. When the particle size distribution (PSD) or/and particle loading is changed, the grade particle separation efficiency is also likely to change.

2. The particle loading of a class of particle diameters is a better parameter than PSD to describe the effect of particle concentration on the change of grade efficiency changed. If particle loading of one class of particle is kept constant, an increase of total particle loading will increase separation efficiency. When the total particle loading is kept constant, more small-particles will lower the grade efficiency. The mechanism is explained by the wake of large particles and the change in tangential velocity by high particle injections.

3. PSD and particle loading do not affect the pressure drop of the cyclone.

References

1. E. Muschelknautz, et.al, Extended cyclone theory for gas flows with high solid concentrationsChem. Eng. Technol. 16,(1993)

2. Vincent Bricout, Michel Y. Louge, Measurements of cyclone performance under conditions analogous to pressurized circulating fluidization, Chemical Engineering Science 59 3059 3070, (2004)

3. K.W. Chu, B.Wanga, D.L.Xu, Y.X.Chen, A.B.Yu “CFDDEM simulation of the gassolid flow in a cyclone separator, Chemical Engineering Science 66834847, (2011)

4. Y.Su, A. Zheng, B.Zhao, “Numerical simulation of effect of inlet configuration on square cyclone separator performance”, Powder Technology 210, 293303, (2011)

5. D.M.Sinder, P.J.O’Rourke, M.J.Andrews,”Sediment flow in inclined vessels calculated using multiphase particle-in cell model for dense particle flow”, Int. J. Multiphase Flow, 24, pp.1359-1282, (1998)

6. F. Qian, et al, “Numerical study of the separation characteristics in a cyclone of different inlet particle concentrations” , Computers and Chemical Engineering 31, 11111122, (2007)