Research Papers

Numerical Simulation of an Industrial Fluid Catalytic Cracking Regenerator

[+] Author and Article Information
Guangwu Tang, Armin K. Silaen, Bin Wu, Chenn Q. Zhou

Center for Innovation Through Visualization
and Simulation (CIVS),
Purdue University Calumet,
Hammond, IN 46323

Dwight Agnello-Dean, Joseph Wilson, Qingjun Meng, Samir Khanna

BP Refining and Logistics Technology,
Naperville, IL 60563

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received March 9, 2014; final manuscript received November 3, 2014; published online February 18, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Ranganathan Kumar.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 7(2), 021012 (Jun 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: TSEA-14-1047; doi: 10.1115/1.4029209 History: Received March 09, 2014; Revised November 03, 2014; Online February 18, 2015

Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is one of the most important conversion processes in petroleum refineries, and the FCC regenerator is a key part of an FCC unit utilized in the recovery of solid catalyst reactivity by burning off the deposited coke on the catalyst surface. A three-dimensional multiphase, multispecies reacting flow computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was established to simulate the flow and reactions inside an FCC regenerator. The Euler–Euler approach, where the two phases (gas and solid) are considered to be continuous and fully interpenetrating, is employed. The model includes gas–solid momentum exchange, gas–solid heat exchange, gas–solid mass exchange, and chemical reactions. Chemical reactions incorporated into the model simulate the combustion of coke which is present on the catalyst surface. The simulation results were validated by plant data.

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Fig. 2

Solid bed at t = 0 s

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Fig. 3

Solid volume fraction profiles along the regenerator height by using different mesh sizes

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Fig. 1

Computational domain

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Fig. 4

Solid volume fraction profiles along the regenerator height by using different drag models

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Fig. 5

Contour of solid (catalyst) volume fraction over time

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Fig. 6

Average solid volume fractions over time

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Fig. 7

Average solid volume fraction and pressure drop profiles along regenerator height

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Fig. 8

Mass-weighted average temperature over time

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Fig. 9

(a) Gas temperature contours and (b) average gas temperature at time 1000 s

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Fig. 10

Profiles of solid temperature and species mass fractions at 1000 s



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