Gasification of coal offers a versatile and clean method for converting coal into gaseous fuel. In gasification, the solid fuel (coal) is oxidized in a fuel-rich environment at a high temperature and pressure. Under these conditions, the coal is broken apart into a gaseous mixture of CO and H2, which compose syngas fuel, the primary product of coal gasification, along with other products, such as CO2 and H2O. In addition to producing combustible gaseous fuel, coal gasifiers are also more efficient than traditional coal-fired boilers, both in thermal conversion of energy and in power cycle design.
However, coal gasification is still poorly understood. Coal is an extremely complex fuel, and the physical processes occurring in a gasifier span enormous length and time scales and involve large amounts of energy. Comprehensive models describing coal gasification must account for a large number of coupled physical processes. In order to attain better understanding of gasification for the design and retrofit of applied-scale gasifiers, simulation tools that can handle these complex systems must be developed.
The combination of the direct quadrature method of moments (DQMOM) with large eddy simulation (LES) provided by the ARCHES code was used to simulate coal gasification. Massively parallel simulations that include physical models for the dispersed coal phase, gas phase turbulence and combustion models were performed and compared to experimental data from Brown [4,5]. A more detailed description of the DQMOM approach and of the coal particles models can be found here in [6,7].