9R26. Thermal Conversion of Solid Fuels. Developments in Heat Transfer, Vol 15. - B Peters (Res Center Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany). WIT Press, Southampton, UK. Distributed in USA by Comput Mech, Billerica MA. 2003. 205 pp. ISBN 1-85312-953-4. $122.00.

Reviewed by SR Gollahalli (Lesch Centennial Chair, Director, Sch of Aerospace and Mech Eng, Univ of Oklahoma, Norman OK 73019-0601).

This monograph deals with the analysis and numerical simulation methods of thermal conversion of solid fuels, which includes various processes of drying, pyrolysis, devolatilization, and gasification. These processes occurring in a packed or moving bed situation include complex and interconnected mechanisms involving thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, chemistry, and physics. An analysis that delineates the relevant processes from the minor mechanisms that led to the development of the Discrete Particle Method (DPM), which considers particles with conversion processes attached to it as an individual entity, is the basis of the book’s contents. Three major areas have been identified in the thermal conversion of solids and addressed individually with simulation methods: heat and mass transfer interaction between solid, liquid, and gaseous phases in a particle; reacting flow in the voids between the particles; and overall motion of an ensemble of particles. The conversion of a particle is described by conservation equations similar to those in computational fluid dynamics, and the motion of the particles is described by molecular dynamics methods under the hierarchy of TOSCA (Tools of object-oriented software for continuum-mechanics applications).

The first chapter presents an overview of the thermal conversion processes of a packed bed including the conversion regimes of a single particle and a packed bed, and ends with an extensive review of the literature on packed bed, particle, and gas phase conversions. The second chapter, on numerical methods, begins with models in the literature on drying, pyrolysis, gasification, and heterogeneous combustion. Thermo-fluid interaction in a reacting packed bed and particle motion are covered in the rest of this chapter. The third chapter, describing the techniques in TOSCA, deals with object-oriented programming. The fourth chapter presents predictions obtained using the TOSCA software library and their validations, and includes single particle conversion, motion of particles, and packed bed conversions, such as a forward acting grate and a combustion chamber. The last chapter presents a concise summary and conclusions. Three appendices covering the list of nomenclature, experiments facilities, and numerics follow the conclusions. An extensive bibliography with 318 references and a subject index are also included.

Overall, Thermal Conversion of Solid Fuels contains interesting material on numerical analysis based on a novel technique for analyzing solid thermal conversion processes. Engineers that deal with drying processes, gasification, and packed bed reactors should find this book interesting and useful. It is a valuable addition to the reference libraries for research and academia.