Simulation of an industrial rotary calciner with trona ore decomposition

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Calciners are one of the most critical energy-intensive units often employed in chemical ore refining and manufacturing processes. They affect subsequent unit operations and eventually influence the final product's quality. The calciner is equipped with lifting flights to enhance the contact efficiency of solids with the hot gas stream. Mass, component, and energy balances for endothermic decomposition of natural trona ore (sodium sesquicarbonate) into soda ash result in a set of intercoupled, nonlinear differential equations and an algebraic equation. Steady-state simulations of the hot gas stream temperature, solid temperature, shell temperature, and product quality show a good agreement with the plant operating data and confirm the shell overheating problems previously experienced. Some useful suggestions are also made to enhance the calciner operations. © 1988, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

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Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research