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Dynamic simulation of fouling in steam cracking reactors using CFD

Laurien Vandewalle (UGent) , David Van Cauwenberge (UGent) , Jens Dedeyne (UGent) , Kevin Van Geem (UGent) and Guy Marin (UGent)
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Abstract
Recently computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been successfully applied for the evaluation of the start-of-run performance of three-dimensional (3D) coil geometries in steam cracking reactors. However, determining the full economic potential of a coil involves tracking its performance throughout the run and not only at start-of-run. Therefore in this work a novel method has been developed that allows to assess the most debated characteristic of these 3D coil geometries, i.e. the potential extension of the run length in combination with the evolution of the product yields during the time on stream. An algorithm based on dynamic mesh generation is presented for simulating coke formation in 3D steam cracking reactor geometries, tracking the apparent geometry deformation caused by the growing coke layer. As a proof-of-concept, a Millisecond propane cracker is simulated over the first days of its run length, and this for three different coil designs: a bare tube, a finned tube and a continuously ribbed reactor design. Our simulations show that the ribbed reactors overall outperform the others although in these enhanced tubular geometries the growth of the coke layer is far from uniform. Because of this, the reactor geometry will change over time, which will in turn influence the fluid dynamics, product yields and successive coke formation substantially.
Keywords
THERMAL-CRACKING, COKE FORMATION, COMPUTER-GENERATION, HEAVY FEEDSTOCKS, RATE-EQUATIONS, RUN-LENGTH, HYDROCARBONS, SCALE, TURBULENCE, PYROLYSIS

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Chicago
Vandewalle, Laurien, David Van Cauwenberge, Jens Dedeyne, Kevin Van Geem, and Guy Marin. 2017. “Dynamic Simulation of Fouling in Steam Cracking Reactors Using CFD.” Chemical Engineering Journal 329: 77–87.
APA
Vandewalle, Laurien, Van Cauwenberge, D., Dedeyne, J., Van Geem, K., & Marin, G. (2017). Dynamic simulation of fouling in steam cracking reactors using CFD. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, 329, 77–87. Presented at the 22nd International Conference on Chemical Reactors (CHEMREACTOR) .
Vancouver
1.
Vandewalle L, Van Cauwenberge D, Dedeyne J, Van Geem K, Marin G. Dynamic simulation of fouling in steam cracking reactors using CFD. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL. 2017;329:77–87.
MLA
Vandewalle, Laurien, David Van Cauwenberge, Jens Dedeyne, et al. “Dynamic Simulation of Fouling in Steam Cracking Reactors Using CFD.” CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL 329 (2017): 77–87. Print.
@article{8540308,
  abstract     = {Recently computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been successfully applied for the evaluation of the start-of-run performance of three-dimensional (3D) coil geometries in steam cracking reactors. However, determining the full economic potential of a coil involves tracking its performance throughout the run and not only at start-of-run. Therefore in this work a novel method has been developed that allows to assess the most debated characteristic of these 3D coil geometries, i.e. the potential extension of the run length in combination with the evolution of the product yields during the time on stream. An algorithm based on dynamic mesh generation is presented for simulating coke formation in 3D steam cracking reactor geometries, tracking the apparent geometry deformation caused by the growing coke layer. As a proof-of-concept, a Millisecond propane cracker is simulated over the first days of its run length, and this for three different coil designs: a bare tube, a finned tube and a continuously ribbed reactor design. Our simulations show that the ribbed reactors overall outperform the others although in these enhanced tubular geometries the growth of the coke layer is far from uniform. Because of this, the reactor geometry will change over time, which will in turn influence the fluid dynamics, product yields and successive coke formation substantially.},
  author       = {Vandewalle, Laurien and Van Cauwenberge, David and Dedeyne, Jens and Van Geem, Kevin and Marin, Guy},
  issn         = {1385-8947 },
  journal      = {CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL},
  keyword      = {THERMAL-CRACKING,COKE FORMATION,COMPUTER-GENERATION,HEAVY FEEDSTOCKS,RATE-EQUATIONS,RUN-LENGTH,HYDROCARBONS,SCALE,TURBULENCE,PYROLYSIS},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {London, ENGLAND},
  pages        = {77--87},
  title        = {Dynamic simulation of fouling in steam cracking reactors using CFD},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2017.06.113},
  volume       = {329},
  year         = {2017},
}

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