Numerical investigation of heavy fuel droplet-particle collisions in the injection zone of a Fluid Catalytic Cracking reactor, Part I: Numerical model and 2D simulations

Malgarinos, I., Nikolopoulos, N. & Gavaises, M. (2017). Numerical investigation of heavy fuel droplet-particle collisions in the injection zone of a Fluid Catalytic Cracking reactor, Part I: Numerical model and 2D simulations. Fuel Processing Technology, 156, pp. 317-330. doi: 10.1016/j.fuproc.2016.09.014

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Abstract

The present paper investigates the collisions between heavy gasoil droplets and solid catalytic particles taking place at conditions realized in Fluid Catalytic Cracking reactors (FCC). The computational model utilizes the Navier-Stokes equations along with the energy conservation and transport of species equations. The VOF methodology is used in order to track the liquid-gas interface, while a dynamic local grid refinement technique is adopted, so that high accuracy is achieved with a relative low computational cost. Phase-change phenomena (evaporation of the heavy gasoil droplet), as well as catalytic cracking surface reactions are taken into account. Physical properties of heavy and light molecular weight hydrocarbons are modelled by representative single component species, while a 2-lump scheme is proposed for the catalytic cracking reactions. The numerical model is firstly validated for the case of a single liquid droplet evaporation inside a hot gaseous medium and impingement onto a flat wall for droplet heating and film boiling conditions. Afterwards, it is utilized for the prediction of single droplet-catalyst collisions inside the FCC injection zone. The numerical results indicate that droplets of similar size to the catalytic particles tend to be levitated more easily by hot catalysts, thus resulting in higher cracking reaction rates/cracking product yield, and limited possibility for liquid pore blocking. For larger sized droplets, the corresponding results indicate that the production of cracking products is not favored, while solid-liquid contact increases. Hotter catalysts promote catalytic cracking reactions and droplet levitation over the catalytic particle, owed to the formation of a thin vapour layer between the liquid and the solid particle.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: VOF; FCC; Droplet; Particle; Collisions; Cracking
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences > Engineering
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/17238

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