Effect of Critical Variables on Air Dense Medium Fluidized Bed Coal Drying Efficiency and Kinetics

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Mining Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran


Calorific value, as a key component for fuel quality assessment, directly affects the thermal power plants' efficiency. While high-quality coal is consumed as metallurgical coal, low-rank coals are used by coal-fired power plants. The high moisture content of the thermal coals significantly influences their heating values. In this study, the drying performances of the fixed bed and air dense medium fluidized bed (ADMFB) dryers were investigated under the superficial air velocity of 15-18 cm/s, inlet air temperature of 55-75 ºC, and up to 80 minutes of operation. Low air consumption is an intrinsic characteristic for ADMFB, while a low-temperature range for drying air was selected to address the coal-fired power plants' waste heat. It was found that an increase in air velocity and temperature favored the drying efficiency of both systems (i.e., 18 cm/s and 75 ºC), with the temperature being more effective than the air velocity. The ADMFB dryer removed comparatively more moisture than the fixed bed for the shorter drying durations. For example, for 10% moisture reduction at 75 °C, the ADMFB dryer needed 5 minutes less time than the fixed bed. The fitting quality and goodness of serval well-known thin-layer models for describing fluidized bed and ADMFB coal drying kinetics were assessed by several models and statistical evaluators, respectively. It was found that the Middilli & Kucuk model best describes the fixed bed coal drying (i.e., R2=0.999, RSE=0.001, RMSE=0.008), while the Page model much properly simulates the ADMFB coal drying (i.e., R2=0.998, RSE=0.002, RMSE=0.009).


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