Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations of Raw Gas Composition from a Black Liquor Gasifier-Comparison with Experiments

Per Carlsson, Kristiina Iisa, Rikard Gebart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


Pressurized entrained flow high temperature black liquor gasification can be used as a complement or a substitute to the Tomlinson boiler used in the chemical recovery process at kraft pulp mills. The technology has been proven on the development scale, but there are still no full scale plants. This work is intended to aid in the development by providing computational tools that can be used in scale up of the existing technology. In this work, an existing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model describing the gasification reactor is refined. First, one-dimensional (1D) plug flow reactor calculations with a comprehensive reaction mechanism are performed to judge the validity of the global homogeneous reaction mechanism used in the CFD simulations in the temperature range considered. On the basis of the results from the comparison, an extinction temperature modification of the steam-methane reforming reaction was introduced in the CFD model. An extinction temperature of 1400 K was determined to give the best overall agreement between the two models. Next, the results from simulations of the flow in a 3 MW pilot gasifier with the updated CFD model are compared to experimental results in which pressure, oxygen to black liquor equivalence ratio, and residence time have been varied. The results show that the updated CFD model can predict the main gas components (H 2, CO, CO2) within an absolute error of 2.5 mol %. CH 4 can be predicted within an absolute error of 1 mol %, and most of the trends when process conditions are varied are captured by the model.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4122-4128
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-50890


  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • gasification


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