Coupling detailed radiation model with process simulation in Aspen Plus: A case study on fluidized bed combustor

Yukun Hu, Jihong Wang*, C. K. Tan, Chenggong Sun, Hao Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

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While providing a fast and accurate tool for simulating fluidized beds, the major limitations of classical zero-dimensional ideal reactor models used in process simulations become irreconcilable, such as models built into commercial software (e.g. Aspen Plus®). For example, the limitations of incorporating heat absorption by the water wall and super-heaters and inferring thermal reciprocity between each reactor model/module. This paper proposes a novel modelling approach to address these limitations by incorporating an external model that marries the advantages of the zone method and Aspen Plus to the greatest extent. A steady state operation of a 0.3. MW atmospheric bubbling fluidized-bed combustor test rig was simulated using the developed modelling approach and the results were compared with experimental data. The comparison showed that the predictions were in agreement with the measurements. Further improvement is to be expected through incorporating more realistic zoned geometry and more complex reaction mechanisms. In addition, the developed model has a relatively modest computing demand and hence demonstrates its potential to be incorporated into process simulations of a whole power plant.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberS0306261917310383
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date31 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Aug 2017


  • Aspen Plus
  • Fluidized beds
  • Process simulation
  • Radiation analysis
  • Zone method


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