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Revisiting a large-scale FCC riser reactor with a particle-scale model
Chemical Engineering Science  (IF4.311),  Pub Date : 2021-11-24, DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2021.117300
Yupeng Du, Xiaoping Chen, Shuo Li, Abdallah Sofiane Berrouk, Wanzhong Ren, Chaohe Yang

Understanding gas–solid hydrodynamics, heat and mass transfer, and multiphase reactions is of great importance to the design of a large-scale fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) riser reactor. FCC catalyst particles in a large-scale (e.g., demo-scale or industrial-scale) riser reactor are generally simulated using Eulerian methods since Lagrangian approaches are often avoided because of their high computational cost. As a result, information about the flow at the particle scale is not considered. In this study, the catalyst behaviors in a large-scale FCC riser reactor are investigated with a particle-scale model that is based on the multiphase particle-in-cell (MP-PIC) scheme. Cracking reactions are taken into account through the incorporation of an eight-lump kinetic model. Numerical predictions are found to be in very close agreement with the available plant data. Detailed particle-scale information, including the particle trajectory, residence time (i.e., internal age), and coke content of the catalysts in the large-scale riser reactor, are fully quantified. Catalyst particles may be entrapped in the diameter-enlarged section, leading to high mean residence time (i.e., 1.67 s) and coke content (more than 3.0% of 3.20% catalyst particles therein), and thereby low catalytic activities (e.g., 0.77 at the height of 2.0 m). It is believed that these findings should help better understand the particle-scale physical and chemical phenomena in large-scale FCC multi-regime riser reactors and assist the design, scale-up, and optimization of similar industrial devices.