Experimental hydrodynamic study of the slurry distribution in a vertical slurry heat exchanger

Cheng Tsu Shih, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


A slurry heat exchanger is simulated as part of the Solvent Refined Coal-I plant to preheat the coal and solvent slurry before hydrogen injection. The shell and tube heat exchanger is oriented vertically with upward slurry flow on the tube side to minimize the localized solid sedimentation in individual tubes. Several experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of particle size, particle concentration, and total flow rate on the slurry distribution and local slurry flow in each vertical slurry heat exchanger tube; It is observed that the individual tube flow rates are highest for the central tubes and lower for the peripheral tubes. However, with the addition of solids, the flow distribution becomes more even. It was found that with the smaller particle size solids and higher overall flow rates, the slurry concentration and flow distribution become more even.