Fragmentation of wood char in a laboratory scale fluidized bed combustor
Journal article, 2008
This work proposes a transient heat transfer model to predict the thermal behaviour of wood in a heated bed of sand fluidized with nitrogen. The 2-D model in cylindrical coordinates considers wood anisotropy, variable fuel properties, fuel particle shrinkage, and heat generation due to drying and devolatilization. The influence of initial fuel moisture content, thermal diffusivity, particle geometry, shrinkage, external heat transfer coefficient, chemical reaction kinetics and heats of reaction on temperature rise is presented. The cylindrical wood particles chosen for the study have length (l) = 20 mm, diameter (d) = 4 mm and l = 50 mm and d = 10 mm, both having an aspect ratio (l/d) of 5. The bed temperature is 1123 K. The model prediction is validated using measurements obtained from literature. The temperature rise in the wood particle is found to be sensitive to changes in the moisture content and thermal diffusivity and heat of reaction (in larger particles) while it is less sensitive to the external heat transfer coefficient and chemical kinetics. Also shrinkage is found to have a compensating effect and it does not have any significant influence on the temperature rise. Beyond an aspect ratio of three, the wood particle behaves as a 1-D cylinder.