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Computers and Chemical Engineering 27 (2003) 813 /825 www.elsevier.

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A model of a rotary kiln incinerator including processes occurring within the solid and the gaseous phases
F. Marias *
Laboratoire de Ge nie des Proce de s de Pau (EA 1932), ENSGTI, Rue Jules Ferry, 64000 Pau, France Received 2 April 2002; received in revised form 19 November 2002; accepted 19 November 2002

Abstract This paper presents a new development in the study of a rotary kiln incinerator. The modelling of the furnace has been divided into two parts. On the one hand, a model describing the physico-chemical processes which occur within the burning bed of municipal solid waste (assumed to be a mixture of wood, cardboard and PVC) has been set. This model mainly relies on the assumptions of plug flow and macroscopic pyrolysis kinetics of burning waste. On the other hand, C.F.D. has been used to describe the processes occurring within the gaseous phase of the kiln and of the post combustion chamber (turbulence, combustion, radiation). A data processing tool has been built to automate the data exchanges between the two parts of the model. Some results of the overall model are shown in two different situation (working with and without extra burner). # 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Rotary kiln; Incinerator; Simulation; CAPE; CFD

1. Introduction The complete and detailed model of a rotary kiln incinerator should describe the processes that occur at different spatial scale and in different phases. For example, the pyrolysis of waste is mainly driven by intra-particle heat and mass transfer (Gronli & Melaeen, 2000; Jia, Galea, & Patel, 1999; Patisson, Lebas, Hanrot, Ablitzer, & Houzelo, 2000a), by heat transfer within the burning bed, which in turn, is controlled by bed motion, combustion of the volatile matter issued from pyrolysis, and the subsequent radiation (Patisson, Lebas, Hanrot, Ablitzer, & Houzelo, 2000b; Lester et al., 1991; Leger, Cook, Cundy, Sterlimg, Deng, & Lighty, 1993; Leger, Cundy, & Sterling, 1993; Leger, Cundy, Sterling, Montestruc, Jackway, & Owens, 1993a,b; Chen & Lee, 1994; Jackway, Sterling, Cundy, & Cook, 1996). Such influences, due to interaction of one phase with the other, have already been drawn for the resolution of classical chemical engineering problems (crystallisation reactors (Urban & Liberis, 1999),
* Tel.: '/33-559-722-079; fax: '/33-559-722-081. E-mail address: frederic.marias@univ-pau.fr (F. Marias).

bubble column reactors (Bauer & Eigenberger, 1999), . . .). Indeed, in such configurations, one idea is to build a coupling between Computational Fluid Dynamics and Computer Aided Process Engineering tools. This software association is able to solve the problem and might moreover allow the control and the optimisation of the overall process. CFD has already been pointed out as relevant tool for the description of gaseous phenomena occurring within a rotary kiln (Leger et al., 1993; Jackway et al., 1996; Khan, Pal, & Morse, 1993). Unfortunately, it does not allow for the modelling of the burning bed of waste. More precisely, because of the dispersed nature of the solid bed (constituted of a wide range of chemical elements and of a wide range of particle sizes) classical Navier /Stokes equation, which governs the gaseous fluid mechanics, cannot be applied in this case. Thus, a CAPE tool (namely gPROMS TM) has been used to numerically solve the burning bed model which is going to be described below. The aim of this paper is not to give insights into the modelling of the burning bed or gaseous turbulence combustion and subsequent radiation. Actually, a simplified model is developed for the burning bed and the standard models of the CFD tool (namely Fluent TM)

0098-1354/02/$ - see front matter # 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0098-1354(02)00268-5

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Nomenclature Cpk Dk Dp,0 Dp 0 /h f ;k/ Hs L /m dry / /m pyro / N Qw Ss Ts Us V yk Yk z Greek symbols a os 8gas 8wall rs,0 rs Subscripts Ash C Card Moist PVC Vol Wood

heat capacity of element k (J kg (1 K (1) kiln diameter (m) diameter of waste particle at the furnace supply (m) diameter of waste particle in the furnace (m) standard enthalpy of formation of element k (J kg (1) enthalpy of the bed (J kg(1) cross length of the upper limit of the bed, see Fig. 3 (m) specific mass flux of dried moisture from the bed to the gaseous phase (kg s (1 m (2) specific mass flux of pyrolysed matter from the bed to the gaseous phase (kg s (1 m (2) concentration of particle in the furnace (m(1) waste flow-rate (kg s (1) cross section area of the bed (m2) bed temperature (K) bed velocity (m s (1) volatiles velocity component normal to the bed surface (m s(1) mass fraction of k in the equivalent waste ( /) mass fraction of k in the waste ( /) axial position (m)

bed interception angle, see Fig. 3 ( /) bed porosity ( /) specific heat flux from the gaseous phase to the bed (W m (2) specific heat flux from the kiln wall to the bed (W m(2) density of the waste at the supply of the furnace (kg m (3) density of the waste in the furnace (kg m (3)

relative relative relative relative relative relative relative

to to to to to to to

ashes unburned carbon cardboard material moisture PVC material volatile matter wood material

are used. Instead, the main subject of this paper relies on the coupling between these two tools, that is to say, the definition of the relevant exchange variables, and also relies on the automation of the exchange process. Within the frame of this study, the first two parts of the paper are devoted to the description of the models used by each of the data processing tools. Then in a third part, insights into the coupling procedure are given, and, finally, some results are shown.

2. Bed modelling According to literature, several models exist for the description of the physical /chemical phenomena occurring when a bed of solids is dried or burnt inside a rotary

kiln chamber (Patisson et al., 2000a; Patisson et al., 2000b; Leger et al., 1993; Leger et al., 1993a; Leger et al., 1993b; Chen & Lee, 1994; Boateng & Barr, 1996a,b). The objective of this paper is not to give insights into such a modelling process, but into the way such a model can be coupled with CFD analysis. That is why, a simple model describing the main phenomena (Roquet, 1999), has been used and introduced in the software gPROMS TM. Before attempting to build a model of the bed, it is essential to characterise the solid matter, which is fed to the furnace. Following the work of Marias (1999) a model waste composed of wood, cardboard and PVC has been used as a representation of municipal solid waste. As this waste is to be processed through the furnace, it is going to dry and devolatilise.

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2.1. Drying and pyrolysis of the waste: equivalent waste During its evolution, from the input of the furnace to its output, the waste will partially be transformed from solid material to gaseous material. This paragraph focuses on the description of this transformation. According to literature (Gronli & Melaeen, 2000; Jia et al., 1999; Patisson et al., 2000a; Bilodeau, The rien, Proulx, Czernick, & Chornet, 1993; Graham & Bergougnou, 1984; Shafizadeh, 1982), many studies relative to the drying and pyrolysis of coal, wood, biomass, exist. All of these studies show that this process is entirely temperature and heating rate dependant, and that the composition of the gas issuing from the solid matrix depends on these two parameters and also on the material intrinsic characteristics. In this study, a balance approach (chemical element and energy) is used in order to characterise the composition of this gas. Given the initial nature of the waste (proximate and ultimate analysis) an equivalent waste is built (Marias, 1999). Eventhough during its progression inside the furnace the conditions of pyrolysis are going to be modified, it is assumed, in order to simplify, that the composition of the pyrolysed matter is constant and equal to that of the equivalent waste. Fig. 1 sums up the concept of equivalent waste. As an illustration, and given an initial composition (Ywood 0/ 0.5, Ycard 0/0.45, YPVC 0/0.05), the computation procedure leads to an equivalent waste composed of: . moisture (water vapour evacuated during drying), ymoist 0/0.1425; . volatiles (mass composition given on Fig. 2), yvol 0/ 0.66231; . unburned carbon, yC 0/0.17051; . ash, yash 0/0.024675. The composition of the volatile matter is given on Fig. 2.

2.2. Bed modelling Once the input of the furnace is defined, it is possible to build the model which permits the description of its transformation throughout the kiln. Nevertheless, assumptions are required. 2.2.1. Assumptions The different assumptions involved by the bed modelling are the following: . The waste is fed to the furnace with a mass flow-rate Qw(t ), with a composition Ywood(t ), Ycard(t ), YPVC(t ), in spherical pellets of diameter Dp,0(t ) and density rs,0(t ). . The bed is in plug flow, its properties are given as a function of its axial position (z ). . The bed receives a specific heat flux from the gaseous phase (8gas(z , t )) and a specific heat flux from the kiln wall which is in contact with the bed (8wall(z , t )). . During the drying of the bed material the particle diameter (Dp(z , t )) remains constant while particle density is variable (rs(z , t )). During this step, a specific mass flux is extracted from the bed to be transferred to the gaseous phase (/m dry (z; t)):/ . During the pyrolysis of the particles the density of the bed remains constant while the particle diameter is variable. During this step, a specific mass flux is extracted from the bed to be transferred to the gaseous phase (/m pyro (z; t)); the shrinkage in the particle diameter leads to a reduction of the bed section (Ss(z , t )). . Bed velocity (Us(t )) is constant within the furnace. . Bed porosity (os) is constant. 2.2.2. Geometrical considerations Fig. 3 sums up the different geometrical variables used in the model.

Fig. 1. Representaion of the concept of equivalent waste.

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Fig. 2. Volatile composition of the equivalent waste (mass fraction).

These different variables are linked by the following formulae (1), (2) and (3). In the following, N (z , t ) stands for the local particle concentration (in terms of the number of particles per unit of length). Ss (z; t) 0 D2 k 8 (a(z; t) ( sin(a(z; t)));   a(z; t) ; (1) (2) : (3)

 NoX Comp yk h0 'yvol (z; t) f ;k (Tref ) '


k01

Cpk (T ) dT
Tref



 'yC (z; t) h0 f ;C (Tref ) '  h0 f ;ash (Tref ) '

g
T

T Tref

CpC (T ) dT ' yash (z; t)  Cpash (T ) dT : (4)

L(z; t) 0 Dk sin Ss (z; t) 0

Tref

2 pN (z; t)D3 p (z; t) 6( 1 ( o s )

2.2.4. Balance equations 2.2.4.1. Enthalpy.

2.2.3. Denition of the bed enthalpy The enthalpy of the bed is computed by the following formulae (4) using the equivalent waste composition.   T Hs (z; t) 0 ymoist (z; t) h0 ( T ) ' Cp ( T ) d T ref H2 O f ; H2 O

(1 ( o s )

@ (rs Ss Hs ) @t @ (rs Ss Hs ) @z (5)

0((1 ( o s )Us

Tref

' (8 gas ' 8 wall ( m dry HH2 O ( m pyro Hvol )L;

Fig. 3. Geometrical variables used in the model.

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 HH2 O (z; t) 0 h0 f ;H2 O (Tref ) ' Hvol (z; t) 0


NoX Comp k 01

Ts (z; t) Tref

 CpH2 O (T ) dT ;

(6)  (7)

m pyro 0

pD 2 p (z; t)N (z; t) L(z; t)

kp exp

(Ea

yk

RTs (z; t)

 :

(16)

h0 f ;k (Tref ) '

Ts (z; t)

Cpk (T ) dT
Tref

' Dr Hpyro :

2.2.7. Boundary conditions The value of the relevant variables must be assigned at the inlet of the furnace: Ts (0; t) 0 Tref ; rs (0; t) 0 rs;0 ; Dp (0; t) 0 Dp;0 ; N (0; t) 0 6Qw (t) : prs;0 D3 p;0 Us (t) (17) (18) (19) (20)

2.2.4.2. Mass. Because of the density modication induced by the drying step on the one hand, and the diameter modication induced by the pyrolysis step on the other hand, two equations are derived from the mass balance: (1 ( o s )rs (1 ( o s )Ss @ Ss @t @ rs @t 0((1 ( o s )Us rs 0((1 ( o s )Us Ss @ Ss @z @ rs @z (m pyro L; (m dry L: (8)

2.3. Results (9) The model for the bed has been introduced in the software gPROMS TM and this part shows some typical results, given the kiln geometry and the operating conditions of the furnace. Before running the model with gPROMS TM, the heat flux received from the gaseous phase is required. Because this variable is to be computed through CFD, only a guess of its shape can be approximated at the initialisation step. Fig. 4 shows the value of this approximated heat flux. Some typical results of the simulations, for example, drying and pyrolysis fluxes (Fig. 5) as well as the content of the bed (Fig. 6) are presented when steady-state has been reached. From Fig. 5, it is shown that as drying is processed, the volatile content slightly increases before decreasing during pyrolysis. More precisely, Fig. 6 shows the superficial mass flux of water and also of volatile matter. The complete drying of the material is reached near the middle of the kiln. The pyrolysis reaction occurs within the same space (about 6 m) but the subsequent mass flux is much more important than the drying one.

These processes are computed simultaneously in this model.

2.2.4.3. Particle concentration. (1 ( o s ) @N @t 0((1 ( o s )Us @N @z : (10)

2.2.5. Equivalent waste content equations In this part, equations governing the evolution of moisture, volatile, unburned carbon and ashes are derived: ymoist (z; t) 0 1 ( yC (z; t) 0 rs;0 (t)(1 ( ymoist;0 (t)) rs (z; t) ; (11) (12) (13) (14)

rs;0 (t)yC;0 (t)D3 p;0 (t) ; rs (z; t)D3 ( z p ; t)

yash (z; t) 0

rs;0 (t)yash;0 (t)D3 p;0 (t) ; 3 rs (z; t)Dp (z; t) ymoist (z; t) ' yvol (z; t) ' yC (z; t) ' yash (z; t) 0 1:

3. CFD modelling In the gaseous phase, several physical and chemical processes occur (turbulence, combustion, buoyancy, and radiation). This part of the paper deals with the manner in which the simulation of these processes is achieved using Fluent TM 5.3 software. First of all, a generic geometry of an incinerator including the rotary kiln and the post combustion chamber is depicted. Some elements relative to the meshing of this geometry are then discussed. In the second part, the model used by the CFD software, which takes into account the relevant

2.2.6. Drying and pyrolysis uxes Drying is supposed to be heat transfer limited, that is to say, the heat it receives from the gaseous phase controls the drying process: m dry ( z; t ) 0

8 gas (z; t) ' 8 wall (z; t) : Lv

(15)

Pyrolysis is assumed to be kinetically limited:

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Fig. 4. Guess heat ux introduced into the gPROMS TM model.

Fig. 5. Composition of the bed in steady state operation.

physical and chemical processes, is presented. Finally, some typical results are shown.

The mesh of the whole domain includes tetrahedrons, hexahedrons, prisms and wedges. The total number of used nodes is 260,000 and Fig. 8 shows the details of the kiln surface mesh. Because the result of the pyrolysis process is a decrease in the diameter of the burning particles, and because of the shape of the mass flow rate of the volatiles, the surface of the bed is not a flat plane. Thus, the exact modelling would require having this shape as the geometrical boundary of the CFD model. Moreover, as iterations between gPROMS TM and Fluent TM are going to be performed, this shape is going to be modified, requiring a new meshing scheme at each iteration. Because this process would be highly CPU time consuming, and because it would render the automation of the exchange process impossible, we have supposed that this shape was not affected by the gaseous flow-field, and therefore, we have used an average flat surface for the geometrical boundary of the CFD model. This plane has been set in order to correspond to the height of the bed at the beginning and the end of the kiln.

3.1. Geometry description Because the combustion of the volatile matter processes, not only in the rotary kiln, but also in the post combustion chamber, the two parts of the furnace have been set in the model. The choice that has been made here consists of dealing with generic geometry. Fig. 7 depicts this geometry with its characteristic lengths.

3.2. The CFD model This model must include all the relevant physical phenomena occurring within the gaseous phase: . . . . Turbulence Chemical species transport and reaction Interaction between turbulence and combustion Heat transfer (radiation)

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Fig. 6. Supercial mass uxes of drying and pyrolysis.

Describing how this modelling is performed within the CFD package is not the purpose of this paper. We will only give its main trends. Turbulence modelling is achieved using the two equations k /o model, which allows for the computation of the turbulent viscosity

and thus the Reynolds stress tensor. Using turbulent Schmidt and Prandtl number, consequent turbulent diffusivities are then derived and introduced into the species and enthalpy transport equations. Because of the thermal level reached within the furnace ( /1000 K) all

Fig. 7. Geometry used in the Fluent TM model.

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Fig. 8. Details of the kiln surface mesh.

species are supposed to be in chemical equilibrium once they have been mixed. Interaction between turbulence and combustion is taken into account by using a probability density function. Heat transfer by radiation is computed using the P-1 model (the simplest case of the P-N model, which is based on the expansion of the radiation intensity I into an orthogonal series of spherical harmonics) together with a local absorption coefficient based on CO2 and H2O concentration. Setting the bed boundary condition of the CFD model with the profile given in Fig. 6 and the excess air to a value of 40%, Fig. 9 shows the temperature

profile inside the furnace as a typical result of the CFD computation. Fig. 10 shows the subsequent radiation heat flux received by the bed.

4. Coupling of CAPE and CFD tools 4.1. Denition of the coupling The coupling, which is performed here, is of a boundary condition type. More precisely, each gPROMS TM iteration requires the heat flux as input

Fig. 9. Proles of temperature inside the furnace, given the volatile and drying proles of Fig. 6 and an excess air of 40%.

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Fig. 10. Specic heat ux received by the bed, given the volatile and drying proles of Fig. 7 and an excess air of 40%.

while Fluent TM iteration requires the water vapour (drying) and volatiles (pyrolysis) mass fluxes. Because the bed model is only one dimensional, the mass flux of volatile matter predicted is one dimensional. Nevertheless, because the CFD model is fully three dimensional, it requires a two dimensional profile. In the same way, this model yields a two dimensional profile for the incident radiation, where the bed model only requires a one dimensional specific heat flux. Thus there is a need for extrapolation and interpolation in order to share data. The extrapolation has been performed assuming that, in the width of the bed, the mass flux of the volatiles was balanced by the depth of the bed. At a given z location, the total mass flow-rate of volatiles is distributed, over the cross section of the bed, corresponding to the bed depth. More precisely, this means that the volatiles velocity component, which is perpendicular to the bed surface, is directly proportional to the bed depth at a given z location. This operation is performed using a Matlab TM routine. Fig. 11 depicts the basis of this operation. The interpolation scheme used to feed the bed model consists only of averaging of the incident radiation at every axial position, over the width of the bed. Fig. 10 shows a typical result of this procedure. 4.2. Computing, data exchange and convergence Because convergence of the process may require several iterations, software has been built. Basically, this Java TM program (Fig. 12) sequentially executes the different routines and programs involved in the process,

writes the exchange files and checks for the global convergence. This one is checked by the help of four criteria which are defined as the following: . . . . Total mass flow rate residual Local mass flow rate residual Total heat residual Local heat residual

For each of these quantities, the residue is computed as following: Rf 0 max

fk ( fk(1 ; fk

(21)

where f denotes the quoted quantity and k the current iteration. It has been assumed that convergence was reached once all of these residues reached below 10 (3.

4.3. Results The first set of results, which is presented here, deals with self-incineration. That is to say, no extra-thermal power is added to the system in order to burn the waste. As an illustration of the computation performed, Fig. 13 shows the evolution of the shared variables (specific mass flux of the volatiles and specific heat flux of the incident radiation) as a function of the current iteration. As the computation proceeds, the devolatilization zone shifts from the left to right of the kiln. Then, at iteration level 5, computation is stopped because the whole amount of volatile matter is no longer released from the residual waste, which reflects the faulty working of

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Fig. 11. Illustration of the extrapolation scheme used to feed the CFD model with the result of the bed one.

the kiln. Moreover, following the evolution of the shape of the curve representative of the incident radiation, it is obvious that less and less volatile matter is released inside the bed. This means that, given the particular geometry and the working parameters (Table 1), selfincineration is impossible. Thus, in order to obtain converging results, the choice was made to add an extra burner on the front side of the kiln. That is to say, given the same geometry and working parameters, an extra feed of methane has been added to the system. To simplify, and in order to reduce the intensive CPU requirements, it has been assumed that the working of the burner and the burning of the volatile matter were totally independent. Therefore, one CFD simulation was performed with the total amount of air required (methane'/volatile matter) but without any volatile matter being released from the bed. Fig. 14 depicts the results of such a simulation in terms of the contours of the temperature within the kiln, and in terms of the subsequent supplemental radiation heat flux received by the bed, for a 2 MW extra burner. Once this extra incident radiation has been computed, it can be used in the overall computation scheme, using a technique of superimposition. Indeed, the choice has been made to add this supplemental subsequent radiation (Fig. 14) to the one computed by the CFD software, in the Converti_fg.m subroutine (Fig. 12), at each iteration. Fig. 15 shows the results of such a manipulation. Given the criteria defined in Section 4.2, convergence has been reached at the 10th iteration. The small amount of heat received by the bed on the left part of

the kiln is sufficient to promote drying and the beginning of pyrolysis. Then, once volatile matter is released not too far from the entrance of the kiln, its subsequent combustion is sufficient to ensure complete devolatilization of the waste.

5. Conclusion This paper has described one of the possible coupling between gPROMS TM and Fluent TM. It has demonstrated that applied to a rotary kiln incinerator, such a coupling was possible and that it was able to give insights into the running of the process. More precisely, it has been shown that, given the geometry of the whole incinerator and a model waste composed of 50% of wood, 40% of cardboard and 5% of PVC (on a weight basis), self incineration was not possible. This can be attributed to the smaller quantity of the incident radiation received by the bed of waste, which insufficiently ensures its complete pyrolysis within the kiln. Subsequently, it has been demonstrated that adding an extra burner, fed with methane, was a possible solution in order to achieve the complete pyrolysis of waste within the kiln. Our model is then able to predict the combustion of the volatile matter within the incinerator as well as the subsequent radiation received by its walls, and the thermal and chemical species contours. This data may be very interesting in order to check for the efficient running of the process and then possible enhancements in the design of the furnace.

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Fig. 12. Sequence executed by the iterative program and exchange les.

Rotary kiln incineration is only one application of the coupling of the boundary condition type. Indeed, a general methodology and a program able to execute the

sequence automatically have been built. The latter could easily be applied to other processes where CFD results should be coupled with gPROMS TM results by the

Fig. 13. Illustration of the convergence for the working parameters of Table 1.

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Fig. 14. Proles of temperature due to the extra burner inside the furnace (left) and subsequent incident radiation received by the bed (right).

Fig. 15. Illustration of the convergence for the working parameters of Table 1 and the extra burner of 2 MW. Table 1 Working parameters of the process Mass flow-rate of model waste Input size of waste particles Input density of waste particles Composition of the model waste Lower heating value of the model waste Air required for theoretical combustion Air excess Qw 0/1.7 kg s ( 1 Dp,0 0/0.05 m rs,0 0/750 kg m ( 3 Ywood 0/0.5; Ycard 0/0.45, YPVC 0/0.05 LHV 0/14.65 MJ kg( 1 (1 /m theo air 0 3:72 kg s / E 0/40%

author also thanks Professor Costas Pantelides, Dr Lakis Liberis and Fabrizzio Bezzo for their suport and help. Thanks also to Graham Stuart, the system administrator of the Centre, for his help.

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Acknowledgements This study has been performed in the Centre for Process System Engineering, Imperial College, London. Thus, the author would like to thank the head of the department Professor Sandro Macchietto for his welcome at the centre and for his numerous advice. The

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