Dynamic simulation of carbochlorination of zirconia in a pilot plant fluidized-bed reactor
Zirconium tetrachloride was produced via the chlorination of zirconia in a fluidized bed reactor in the presence of carbon. The fluidized bed zirconia carbochlorination reactor was modeled dynamically via a three-phase hydrodynamic flow assumption. The operating temperature (800-1200 °C), reaction time (30-120 min) and mean particle size (MPS) (70-130 μm) were chosen as the range of operating conditions. The comparison of reaction conversion with experimental measurements was used for model validation. An acceptable compatibility was observed between simulation results and experimental data. Investigation of fluidized bed operating conditions with the validated model was accomplished and the results indicated that smaller zirconia size, higher reactor temperature and reaction time improved chlorination rate. The optimum operating conditions were found to be 1200 ºC, 120 min and 70 μm, in which the maximum zirconia conversion of 91.8% was obtained.
Keywords: Zirconia, Fluidized bed reactor, Carbochlorination, zirconium tetrachloride