Process Chemistry of Coal Utilization

Process Chemistry of Coal Utilization

Chemistry Toolkit for Furnaces and Gasifiers

1st Edition - August 26, 2021

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  • Author: Stephen Niksa
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323903813
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323899598

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Process Chemistry of Coal Utilization: Chemistry Toolkit for Furnaces and Gasifiers presents a broad range of quantitative methods for solving common problems surrounding the performance of coal utilization technologies. As a logical follow up to Niksa’s 2019 publication which covers the Impacts of Coal Quality and Operating Conditions (9780128187135), this book demonstrates the practical applications of the technologies previously discussed and analyzes fuel quality impacts across all regions. Stephen Niksa’s wealth of experience of commercial applications of coal utilization makes this book an invaluable resource into fuel applications, cost effectiveness and policy. Relating coal conversion chemistry to practical applications in design, validation, performance and troubleshooting on a commercial scale makes this book an invaluable resource for a variety of readers. Engineers, researchers and manufacturers will gain a solid understanding of technological options and a range of alternative approaches that they can use to tailor their own testing and simulation work to effectively characterize and solve problems.

Key Features

  • Presents a series of case studies which exemplify several analytical approaches to fuel performance and technology
  • Illustrates a broad range of commercial approaches with numerous practical applications to guide the reader through testing and simulation
  • Solves technical problems for common situations, saving readers time and enabling them to tailor their own approach


Engineers and OEMs of coal utilization, particularly those who rely on CFD; CFD practitioners; research managers of coal technologies and testing; coal researchers and professors; graduate students working in coal research

Table of Contents

  • 1. Scope of the Applications
    1.1 Emissions (NOx, LOI/UBC), combustion efficiency, fuel quality impacts
    1.2 PCC furnaces
    1.2.1 Staging
    1.2.2 Primary flow patterns and temperature fields
    1.3 CFBC
    1.4 Entrained flow gasification 
    1.5 Exclude milling, fouling, ash deposition, flue gas cleaning
    1.6 References 

    2. Statistical Prediction Models
    2.1 Definitions and Guidelines2-1
    2.2 Using Standard Coal Properties to Interpret CQ Impacts2-5
    2.3 Coals’ Constitution and Devolatilization Behavior As CQ Predictors 2-6
    2.4 Neural Nets2-16
    2.5 Summary2-20
    2.6 Nomenclature2-21
    2.7 References2-22 

    3. Heuristic Prediction Schemes
    3.1 NOX LOI Predictor3-1
    3.2 Predicting CQ Impacts on NOX Emissions3-2
    3.3 Predicting CQ Impacts on LOI Emissions3-11
    3.3.1 Fuel Grinding Submodels3-12
    3.3.2 Char Burnout Submodels3-13
    3.3.3 Validating the LOI Predictions3-14
    3.4 Novel Aspects and Generalizations3-17
    3.5 Comprehensive Fuel Quality Management Tools3-22
    3.6 Summary3-24
    3.7 Nomenclature3-25
    3.8 References3-25

    4. Support for CFD and Process Simulation Applications 
    4.1 Chemistry Submodels Accommodate Only A Handful of Chemical Species4-2
    4.2 Support CFD From A Virtual Fuels Laboratory4-3
    4.3 Fuel-Specific Input for CFD4-6
    4.3.1 Thermophysical Properties and Drying Rates4-7
    4.3.2 Primary Devolatilization Rates4-10
    4.3.3 Volatiles Conversion4-15
    4.3.4 Finite-Rate Tar Decomposition and Soot Production4-20
    4.3.5 Oxidation of Char and Soot4-23
    4.3.6 Gasification of Char and Soot4-32
    4.3.7 An Important Omission4-41
    4.4 Specifying Representative Operating Conditions4-42
    4.5 Performance4-45
    4.6 Summary4-47
    4.7 Nomenclature4-51
    4.8 References4-54 

    5. Reactor Network Theory
    5.1 Options for Simulations with Detailed Chemistry
    5.2 Historical development 
    5.3 Equivalent reactor networks 
    5.3.1 CFD with particle tracking
    5.3.2 Reactor network specifications
    5.3.3 Mapping detailed operating conditions
    5.3.4 Case study with a pilot-scale coal flame
    5.4 Theory for reacting coal suspensions under inert atmospheres
    5.5 Theory for burning coal suspensions 
    5.5.1 Limiting volatiles mixing scenarios
    5.5.2 Mixing length scales for dense coal suspensions
    5.6 Theory for coal suspensions under reducing atmospheres
    5.6.1 One dominant gasification agent 
    5.6.2 Multiple gasification agents
    5.7 References

    6. Applications at Pilot- and Commercial Scale
    6.1 Progression from lab- to pilot- to commercial-scale 
    6.2 PCC furnaces 
    6.2.1 Laboratory coal flow reactor at elevated pressure
    6.2.2 Single-burner pilot-scale furnace with biomass co-firing
    6.2.3 NOx emissions from a utility furnace with and without slagging 
    6.2.4 Predicting VOC emissions from a utility furnace
    6.2.5 Reactor network for a 55o MW T-fired furnace
    6.3 CFBC combustion efficiency and LOI emissions
    6.4 Coal gasification 
    6.4.1 Interpreting lab-scale gasification test results
    6.4.2 Predicting methane in syngas from a pilot scale coal gasifier
    6.4.3 Interpreting syngas compositions from commercial gasifiers: Prenflo & Lurgi
    6.5 Summary
    6.6 References

Product details

  • No. of pages: 358
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Woodhead Publishing 2021
  • Published: August 26, 2021
  • Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323903813
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323899598

About the Author

Stephen Niksa

Dr. Niksa is the President of Niksa Energy Associates, and his main area of research is the release of NOx, particulates, and polynuclear aromatic compounds during pulverized fuel combustion. His reaction mechanisms for coal devolatilization spawned a predictive capability for NOx and LOI emissions from full-scale, coal-fired utility boilers now available at over 80 American utility companies. His second interest in in inorganic transformations in combustors, including minerals, alkali compounds, and trace metals. He formulated the most comprehensive mechanisms available to predict Hg and Se emissions from coal-fired gas cleaning systems. He is also involved in catalyst deactivation during hydrothermal treatment of residual petroleum fractions, and during flue gas cleaning in utility SCRs. He has published various research articles and contributed to many books.

Affiliations and Expertise

President, Niksa Energy Associates, Palo Alto, CA, USA

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