Coal chemistry module

Researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) developed the Coal Chemistry Module (CCM) software as a means to incorporate coal chemical reactions into physics-based models of multiphase reactors to solve scale-up problems for advanced power plants using coal gasification, such as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants. Advanced power plant technologies combine the technology of multiphase reactors with high-temperature chemical reactions for processing fossil fuels. With industry partners, NETL is leading the way to a new generation of simulation software capable of integrated solutions to this technology challenge. The effort has resulted in the development of CCM, which has been incorporated in the NETL open-source multiphase flow code MFIX (Multiphase Flow with Interphase eXchanges). Code MFIX was the winner of a 2007 R&D 100 Award and has been used in collaborative projects with end users. Technology transfer of CCM is being done under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with FLUENT, a well-known fluid dynamics code. These developments have had a positive impact on not only the primary target, the fossil fuel industry, but also coal conversion R&D at universities and national labs. Researchers at NETL and design engineers at Southern Company and Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) are using the CCM as part of an overall MFIX simulation of the transport gasifier at the Power Systems Development Facility in Wilsonville, Alabama. The transport gasifier is a promising process for use in high-efficiency, low-emission IGCC systems. The simulations convincingly showed gasifier developers that the model does not merely reproduce what is already known, but provides insight into unobserved phenomena, which they could later verify experimentally. Also, CCM was used with MFIX to predict the expected gasifier behavior almost a year before certain design modifications were completed. KBR design engineers are using similar simulations to help with the design of a commercial-scale Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) transport gasifier at Orlando, Florida.
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