Project No: FE0003997
Performer: Illinois Institute of Technology

Robert Romanosky
Advanced Research
Technology Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, M/S: P03D
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Steven Seachman
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, M/S: P03B
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Hamid Arastoopour
Principal Investigator
Illinois Institute of Technology
10 West 33rd Street
Perlstein Hall, Room 122
Chicago, IL 60616-3793

Award Date:  08/01/2010
Project Date:  07/31/2014

DOE Share: $299,853.00
Performer Share: $132,122.00
Total Award Value: $431,975.00

Performer website: Illinois Institute of Technology -

Crosscutting Research - University Training and Research

Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulations of a Regenerative Process for Carbon Dioxide Capture in Advanced Gasification Based Power Systems

Project Description

The project team is investigating a regenerative MgO-based process for the simultaneous removal of CO2 and enhancement of H2 production. If successful, this process would improve CO2 absorption capacity and allow for fast and complete regeneration.

The team is focusing on a process that consists of a two reactor system (i.e., absorber and regenerator) containing a mixture of MgO-based sorbents and a commercially available water-gas-shift (WGS) reaction catalyst. The sorbents are characterized by a particle porosity distribution (PPD) whose evolution during the process can strongly affect both the reaction rates of absorption/regeneration and the particle phase fluid dynamics. To account for such effects, a multiphase Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model is being developed which will include a population balance equation (PBE) governing the PPD evolution.

Also, the project is obtaining the experimental data necessary to determine the key parameters for the CO2 absorption/ regeneration and the WGS reactions. These parameters will be used to describe the variation of the density and gas compositions due to the reactions. The model will be solved and simulations of the regenerative CO2 removal process will be performed. The simulation results will be used to determine the optimum reactor configuration and geometry as well as the operating conditions for the CO2 removal and H2 production.

Program Background and Project Benefits

The Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) promotes the increased scientific understanding of coal utilization through the University Coal Research (UCR) Program. Since the program’s inception in 1979, its primary objectives have been to (1) improve our understanding of the chemical and physical processes involved in the conversion and utilization of coal in an environmentally acceptable manner; (2) maintain and upgrade the coal research capabilities and facilities of U.S. colleges and universities; and (3) support the education of students in the area of coal science.

In alignment with these objectives, NETL supports Research & Development (R&D) in the area of gasification. Gasification is a process that converts carbon-based feedstocks such as coal into synthesis gas (syngas). This product can then be further converted into separate hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) gas streams as a way to produce electricity from clean H2 fuel while preventing the release of CO2, an important greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere.

In an effort to enhance the performance of gasification systems, NETL has joined with the Illinois Institute of Technology in a project to model and perform simulations for a regenerative magnesium oxide-based (MgO-based) process for simultaneous removal of CO2 and enhancement of H2 production in coal gasification.

The project will advance the understanding of the MgO catalyst for use in coal gasification processes. The knowledge gained and CFD/ PBE model and simulations developed will be applied to simulate and aid in design of the advanced gasification based power systems. Development of this technology is a key element in achieving near-zero emissions while meeting system performance and cost goals.