The traditional practice of employing a two-stage coal-fed gasification process is to feed all of the oxygen to provide a vigorous amount of combustion in the first stage but only feed the coal without oxygen in the second stage to allow the endothermic gasification process to occur downstream of the second stage. One of the merits of this 2-stage practice is to keep the gasifier temperature low downstream from the 2nd stage. This helps to extend the life of refractory bricks, decrease gasifier shut-down frequency for scheduled maintenance, and reduce the maintenance costs. In this traditional 2-stage practice, the temperature reduction in the second stage is achieved at the expense of a higher than normal temperature in the first stage. This study investigates a concept totally opposite to the traditional two-stage coal feeding practices in which the injected oxygen is split between the two stages, while all the coal is fed into the first stage. The hypothesis of this two-stage oxygen injection is that a distributed oxygen injection scheme can also distribute the release of heat to a larger gasifier volume and, thus, reduce the peak temperature distribution in the gasifier. The increased life expectancy and reduced maintenance of the refractory bricks can prevail in the entire gasifier and not just downstream from the second stage. In this study, both experiments and computational simulations have been performed to verify the hypothesis. A series of experiments conducted at 2.5 - 3.0 bars shows that the peak temperature and temperature range in the gasifier do decrease from 600?C - 1550?C with one stage oxygen injection to 950?C - 1230?C with a 60 - 40 oxygen split-injection. The CFD results conducted at 2.5 bars show that 1) the carbon conversion ratio for different oxygen injection schemes are all above 95%; 2) H2 (about 70% vol.) dominates the syngas composition at the exit; 3) the 80% - 20% case yields the lowest peak temperature and the most uniform temperature distribution along the gasifier; and 4) the 40% - 60% case produces the syngas with the highest HHV. Both experimental data and CFD predictions verify the hypothesis that it is feasible to reduce the peak temperature and achieve more uniform temperature in the gasifier by adequately controlling a two-stage oxygen injection with only minor changes of the composition and heating value of the syngas.
Cite this paper
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