DEM simulation of wood pellets dynamics in a mechanically fluidized reactor

Conference Dates

May 22-27, 2016


The Mechanically Fluidized Reactor (MFR) is a novel technology developed to perform fast pyrolysis of solid biomass with particle size between 4 to 8 mm (1). The MFR has been developed to treat cohesive and thermally sensitive biomass materials. This technology does not require any fluidization gas, therefore the residence time of the vapors is solely controlled by their production rate.

In order to get better process understanding and to optimize the process, the particle dynamics in the MFR has been numerically investigated in this contribution. The cylindrical apparatus with a stirrer consisting of vertical blades has been modeled (Fig. 1a). The simulations have been performed in the in-house developed simulation framework MUSEN (2), which is based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM). All particles in the apparatus (foamed glass beads and wood pellets) have been considered individually and for all particles the Newtonian equations of motion have been solved (Fig. 1b).

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