Development of CFD model applied to fluidized beds for waste gasification

Gasification of wastes (either urban waste or residues from forest and agricultural operations) at large scale is a challenging operation because of the heterogeneity of the feedstock. Enerkem has addressed such challenge via its state-of-the art Bubbling Fluidized Bed (BFB) technology coupled with secondary Cracking and Reforming that results in high conversion of Carbon to syngas and a quality of the Syngas that makes it suitable for Catalytic Processing. The Enerkem approach provides a sustainable alternative to both landfill and incineration. As a guide for the engineering scale up and in order to optimize the performance of the technology, advanced modeling tools are to be adapted to such systems. Identified areas for optimization include: enhanced feedstock flexibility, higher energy efficiency and lower operational and maintenance costs. Based on a fully functional demonstration plant at Westbury, the project aims to develop Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models in order to predict and optimize the BFB behavior. Specifically, a 3D thermo-fluid dynamics model will be developed for visualization of flow and thermal fields in the BFB. Specialized CFD software and Sherbrooke University’s high performance computer will be used to perform the numerical simulations. The results from this project have strong potential to be rapidly implemented into commercial gasifiers by Enerkem.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Jean-Michel Lavoie


Micael Boulet




Engineering - chemical / biological


Alternative energy


Université de Sherbrooke



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