Sulfur Chemistry in Carbon-Neutral Combustion

KAUSTDuring the combustion of sulfur-containing fuels, sulfur dioxide (SO2) as well as low levels of sulfur trioxide (SO3) are formed (collectively called SOx). These environmental pollutants must be treated before the cleaned flue gas is released into the environment. Ideally, the only effluents of oxyfuel combustion are benign nitrogen gas (from the air separation stage) and liquid water (from the combustion stage), since the carbon dioxide can be readily captured during the water condensation stage.

One of the potential challenges, however, during oxyfuel combustion is a larger SO3:SO2 ratio, which causes severe corrosion to downstream equipment, particularly as the effluent gas cools off. Within the framework of this project we aim to understand sulfur chemistry in combustion, particularly oxyfuel combustion, using the Reaction Mechanism Generator (RMG) tool.

We train RMG to be able to represent and provide reaction rates and thermodynamic data estimations for all combustion-relevant sulfur species, albeit the very rich sulfur chemistry and various sulfur atom valances. Doing so, RMG will become the first automatic chemical mechanism generation software to fully incorporate sulfur chemistry. We are interested in understanding the fundamental SOx formation mechanisms under oxycombustion conditions and developing a model to predict and quantify the process. Our sponsor for this project is the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST).

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