Black liquor gasification : experimental stability studies of smelt components and refractory lining

Sammanfattning: Black liquors are presently combusted in recovery boilers where the inorganic cooking chemicals are recovered and the energy in the organic material is converted to steam and electricity. A new technology, developed by Chemrec AB, is black liquor gasification (BLG). BLG has more to offer compared to the recovery boiler process, in terms of on-site generation of electric power, liquid fuel and process chemicals. A prerequisite for both optimization of existing processes and the commercialization of BLG is better understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved including interactions with the refractory lining. The chemistry in the BLG process is very complex and to minimize extensive and expensive time-consuming studies otherwise required accurate and reliable model descriptions are needed for a full understanding of most chemical and physical processes as well as for up-scaling of the new BLG processes. However, by using these calculated model results in practice, the errors in the state of the art thermochemical data have to be considered. An extensive literature review was therefore performed to update the data needed for unary, binary and higher order systems. The results from the review reviled that there is a significant range of uncertainty for several condensed phases and a few gas species. This resulted in experimental re-determinations of the binary phase diagrams sodium carbonate-sodium sulfide (Na2CO3-Na2S) and sodium sulfate-sodium sulfide (Na2SO4-Na2S) using High Temperature Microscopy (HTM), High Temperature X-ray Diffraction (HT-XRD) and Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA). For the Na2CO3-Na2S system, measurements were carried out in dry inert atmosphere at temperatures from 25 to 1200 °C. To examine the influence of pure CO2 atmosphere on the melting behavior, HTM experiments in the same temperature interval were made. The results include re-determination of liquidus curves, in the Na2CO3 rich area, melting points of the pure components as well as determination of the extent of the solid solution, Na2CO3(ss), area. The thermal stability of Na2SO3 was studied and the binary phase diagram Na2SO4-Na2S was re-determined. The results indicate that Na2SO3 can exist for a short time up to 750 °C, before it melts. It was also proved that a solid/solid transformation, not reported earlier, occurs at 675 ± 10 °C. At around 700 °C, Na2SO3 gradually breaks down within a few hours, to finally form the solid phases Na2SO4 and Na2S. From HTM measurements a metastable phase diagram including Na2SO3, as well as an equilibrium phase diagram have been constructed for the binary system Na2SO4-Na2S. Improved data on Na2S was experimentally obtained by using solid-state EMF measurements. The equilibrium constant for Na2S(s) was determined to be log Kf(Na2S(s)) (± 0.05) = 216.28 – 4750(T/K)–1 – 28.28878 ln (T/K). Gibbs energy of formation for Na2S(s) was obtained as ΔfG°(Na2S(s))/(kJ mol–1) (± 1.0) = 90.9 – 4.1407(T/K) + 0.5415849(T/K) ln (T/K). The standard enthalpy of formation of Na2S(s) was evaluated to be ΔfH°(Na2S(s), 298.15 K)/(kJ mol–1) (± 1.0) = – 369.0. The standard entropy was evaluated to be S°(Na2S(s), 298.15 K)/(J mol–1 K–1) (± 2.0) = 97.0. Analyses of used refractory material from the Chemrec gasifier were also performed in order to elucidate the stability of the refractory lining. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis revealed that the chemical attack was limited to 250-300 μm, of the surface directly exposed to the gasification atmosphere and the smelt. From XRD analysis it was found that the phases in this surface layer of the refractory were dominated by sodiumaluminosilicates, mainly Na1.55Al1.55Si0.45O4.