Affordable Access

Access to the full text

CFD Modelling of Biomass Mixing in Anaerobic Digesters of Biogas Plants

Authors
  • Conti, Fosca1
  • Saidi, Abdessamad
  • Goldbrunner, Markus
  • 1 University of Padova, Italy , (Italy)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental and Climate Technologies
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Volume
23
Issue
3
Pages
57–69
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/rtuect-2019-0079
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Cut in greenhouse gas emissions, increment of energy from renewables and improvement in energy efficiency represent the three key targets for future energy systems. Among the available bioenergy technologies, biogas production via biodegradation and anaerobic digestion is a widely applied approach, not only to produce biofuels but also to manage industrial and domestic organic waste. Within the biogas production, a sufficient mixing of the organic mass is a crucial step to ensure high biogas yields by bacteria and enzymes. Measurements of the electric power consumption of biogas plants revealed that the electrical energy demand of the stirrer system has a high share of the total electricity consumption of a biogas plant. Investigations on real biogas digesters to optimize the mixing process are cost and time intensive. Therefore, laboratory prototypes and computational simulations represent promising alternatives to analyse and improve the efficiency of mixing systems. In this paper, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is presented, which is applied to commercial stirring systems. The case of two propeller stirrers, located in diametrically opposite positions in a tank filled with ca. 1400 m3 of substrate is described in detail. For the simulation, the rheology of the fluid is adapted to a biomass with 12 wt % dry matter content and obeying the non-Newtonian generalized Ostwald-de Waele power law. The developed simulation procedure considers the rotation angle of each propeller and its height. A total of 441 mixing configurations are calculated and evaluated in terms of the technical benefit. The investigation reveals that locations of the rotors far away from the bottom and high rotational angles cause advantageous fluid dynamics.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times