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ISSN# 1946-0198
Volume# 5 (2013)
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Suggested Citation format for this article:
Behera, Snehasis, Sahu, A.K., Das, Sudipta, Senapatil, P.K., Mishra, S.K., 2013, Scale-Up Design and
Erosion Studies of Bottom Ash in Pneumatic Conveying System. Coal Combustion and Gasification
Products 5, 1-8, doi: 10.4177/CCGP-D-12-00007.1

ISSN 1946-0198
journal homepage: www.coalcgp-journal.org

Scale-Up Design and Erosion Studies of Bottom Ash in Pneumatic Conveying System
Snehasis Behera*, A.K. Sahu, Sudipta Das, P.K. Senapati, S.K. Mishra
Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (CSIR), Bhubaneswar-751013, Odisha, India

ABSTRACT
Pneumatic conveying characteristics and scale-up studies of the bottom ash from three thermal power plants, i.e., M/s Orissa
Power Generation Corporation (M/s OPGC), M/s Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd. (M/s IMFA), and M/s Jindal Stainless Ltd.
(M/s JSL), were carried out in a pneumatic conveying test rig at the Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology,
Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. A minimum conveying line inlet air velocity of approximately 1825 m/s was required for M/s
OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL bottom ash. The erosion rate of M/s OPGC and M/s JSL bottom ash was less in cast-iron bend
compared with mild-steel bend, but for M/s IMFA the erosion rate was high and similar for both types of bends. Scale-up
design was used to determine the variation in pressure drop and phase density at constant mass production flow rate in plant
scale. Particle degradation size distribution studies also were carried out after conveying 2 t of bottom ash out of a total
conveying of 16 t for each source of bottom ash.
f 2013 The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and the American Coal Ash Association
All rights reserved.

ARTICLE

INFO

Article history: Received 18 May 2012; Received in revised form 30 November 2012; Accepted 8 December 2012
Keywords: bottom ash; pressure drop; velocity; phase density; erosion; degradation

1. Introduction
In thermal power plants in India, 593 Mt of coal is used to
produce 96.74 GW of power, and approximately 207 Mt of total
ash is generated per year (Shah et al., 2005). Because bottom ash
generation is 20% of total ash, approximately 41 Mt of bottom ash
is generated per year. This ash is generally collected in a waterimpounded hopper and sluiced into a storage lagoon in slurry
form. It can be conveyed pneumatically to the intermediate silo
after crushing to ,45 mm and then sent to the user industries for
making building materials and for other construction purposes
(Shah et al., 2005). Erosion of the plant by the conveyed product is
the first problem during installation of a pneumatic conveying
system. To minimize plant erosion, the abrasive products, such as
silica, sand, fly ash, bottom ash, and alumina, must be conveyed at
low velocity. Because the conveying air velocity increases along
the length of a pipeline, the bends at the end of the pipeline are

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +91674 2379359. E-mail: snehasis_behera@


yahoo.com, sbehera@immt.res.in

likely to fail first. While transporting bottom ash pneumatically


through the pipeline, particle degradation takes place when
particles hit the walls. Particle degradation that occurs during
particlewall collision is dependent upon particle impact velocity,
impact angle, number of impacts, size, the form and material of the
particle, thickness, and deformation of the pipeline walls (Salman
et al., 1992).
This article presents the results of conveying and scale-up
studies of the bottom ash from three power plants in Bhubaneswar,
Odisha, India: M/s Orissa Power Generation Corporation (M/s OPGC),
Jharsuguda District; M/s Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd. (M/s
IMFA), Choudwar District; and M/s Jindal Stainless Ltd. (M/s JSL),
Jajpur District. Before conveying of the bottom ash, characterization
studies were conducted to examine particle size, particle density,
bulk density, and moisture content. The scale-up studies were carried
out from the results of conveying characteristics of the bottom ash.
Erosion rate studies of mild-steel and cast-iron pipe bends were
conducted at the last bend of the conveying pipeline. Approximate
design equations and their comparison with scale-up design
studies and particle degradation size analysis were made by

doi: 10.4177/CCGP-D-12-00007.1
f 2013 The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and the American Coal Ash Association. All rights reserved.

Behera et al. / Coal Combustion and Gasification Products 5 (2013)

Table 1
Chemical analysis of bottom ash samples (%ash)
Chemical compound

M/s JSL

M/s OPGC

M/s IMFA

%Vol
SiO2
Al2O3
TiO2
Fe2O3
K2O
P2O5
MgO
Na2O
SO3

68.471
24.717
1.281
2.408
0.943
0.562
0.424
0.149
0.089

64.65
25.587
1.389
4.831
0.859
0.689
0.306
0.106
0

65.784
27.536
1.56
2.218
1.317
0.798
0.012
0.094
0.421

ppm
V2O5
Cr2O3
BaO
ZrO2
NiO
SrO
MnO
Rb2O
Y2O3

0
0
290
250
70
100
390
60
60

1770
180
0
130
100
50
400
0
0

0
240
270
120
120
140
120
80
30
Fig. 1. Particle size distribution of all bottom ash.

conveying 16 t of materials for each source of bottom ash to see


how much particle degradation had taken place after 2 t of
conveying.

and K. Other minor elements, such as V, Cr, Ba, Zr, Ni, Sr, Mn, Rb,
and Y, were present in parts per million (Table 1).
2.2. Description of power plants ash generation and particle shape

2. Material Characteristics
2.1. Chemical analysis of bottom ash samples
X-ray fluorescence was used to determine the elemental and
chemical composition of the samples (Table 1). The main chemical
components of a bottom ash were silica (6568%) and alumina
(2427%), with lesser amounts of oxides of P, S, Ti, Fe, Ca, Mg, Na,

The M/s OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL power plants have a total
installed capacity of 420, 108, and 250 MW, respectively. These
plants generate bottom ash rates of 320, 760, and 90 t/day,
respectively. Bottom ash was conveyed in lean slurry form of
approximately 40% concentration by weight in a 150200-mmdiameter pipeline, except at M/s IMFA where the ash was piled up in
stockyard and later taken by truck to fill a lowland area. Because the

Fig. 2. Schematic view of the test rig at Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, India.

Behera et al. / Coal Combustion and Gasification Products 5 (2013)

Table 2
Results of all bottom ash carried out in the test rig facility at Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, India

Bottom ash
source

Pressure drop
(bar)

Air flow rate


(kg/s)

M/s OPGC
M/s IMFA
M/s JSL

0.8
0.4
0.7

0.067
0.056
0.098

Conveying air
velocity (m/s)
Inlet

Exit

Solids loading ratio

Bottom ash
flow rate (t/h)

17.00
18.00
25.40

32.1
25.1
42.9

6.6
6.5
7.37

1.6
1.3
2.6

boiler is stoker coal fired at the M/s IMFA power plant, the generation
of bottom ash was 90% and the remaining 10% was fly ash.

Power (kW)

Volumetric flow
rate (m3/s)

Energy
consumption
(kWh/t)

6.46
3.05
8.49

0.0549
0.0453
0.0800

4.04
2.34
3.26

The particle densities of M/s OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL
bottom ash samples were 1734, 1667, and 2086 kg/m3 and the bulk
densities were 803, 750, and 978 kg/m3, respectively.

2.3. Moisture content, particle size, and particle and bulk density
All bottom ash samples were dried to bring down the moisture
content to ,1% before charging into the hopper for pneumatic
conveying studies. The particle size distributions of M/s JSL and
M/s OPGC were determined using a particle size analyzer (Malvern,
Worcestershire, UK), and the M/s IMFA bottom ash size distribution
was determined by manual sieving. Figure 1 shows the particle size
distribution of all bottom ash samples.

3. Pneumatic Conveying Test Facility at Institute of Minerals


and Materials Technology (IMMT)
A pneumatic conveying test rig (Figure 2) with a screw air
compressor (0.12 m3/s, 700-kPa maximum capacity) was used for
pneumatic conveying trials of different bottom ash samples. The
rig has a 49-mm bore pipeline, 56-m horizontal length, and 1.79-m
vertical length, and six bends. The test rig is instrumented with

Fig. 3. Erosion of mild-steel bends by pneumatic conveying of OPGC, JSL, and IMFA bottom ash.

Behera et al. / Coal Combustion and Gasification Products 5 (2013)

Fig. 4. Erosion of cast-iron bends in pneumatic conveying of OPGC, JSL, and IMFA bottom ash.

Fig. 5. Particle size degradation of M/s IMFA bottom ash.

Fig. 6. Particle size degradation of M/s OPGC bottom ash.

Behera et al. / Coal Combustion and Gasification Products 5 (2013)

at IMMT; results are presented in Table 2. All types of bottom ash


can be conveyed in dilute phase only, where the solids loading
ratio (phase density) falls between 6 and 8. Conveying line inlet air
velocity for M/s OPGC and M/s IMFA was ,18 m/s and 25 m/s for
M/s JSL. Mass product flow was highest for M/s JSL at 2.6 t/h.
Power (3.05 kW) and energy consumption (2.34 kWh/t) were lowest
for M/s IMFA.
4.1. Erosion studies of bottom ash
Erosion in pneumatic conveying bends are dependent on
variables such as conveying velocity, particle concentration,
particle size, particle shape, and bend geometry (Deng et al.,
2005; Mazumder et al., 2008). Erosion studies of all bottom ash
were carried out by measuring the loss of erosion in grams per
tonne of conveying in two types of bend materials, mild steel and
cast iron, and these bends were located in the last part of the
conveying pipeline.

Fig. 7. Particle size degradation of M/s JSL bottom ash.

pressure gauges, differential pressure transducers, temperature


gauge, rotameters, digitizer, and air flowmeter.
4. Results and Discussion of Pneumatic Conveying of Bottom Ash
Testing of erosion and particle degradation of bottom ash from
M/s OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL were carried out in the test rig

4.2.1. Erosion studies of bottom ash using mild-steel and


cast-iron bends
M/s OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL bottom ash were conveyed in
the test rig by using mild-steel and cast-iron bends incorporated at
the last section of the conveying line. Figures 3 and 4 show total
erosion in grams after 2 t of conveying, for a total of 8 t of
conveying of all bottom ash materials at different air velocities,
pressure drops, phase densities, and mass product flow rates for
both cases of cast-iron and mild-steel bends. Erosion in the castiron bend was less than in the mild-steel bend, particularly for M/s
OPGC. For M/s IMFA, maximum erosion occurred in both cast-iron

Table 3
Scale-up design results of all bottom ash

Bottom ash
source

Pressure drop
(bar)

Air flow rate


(kg/s)

M/s OPGC
M/s IMFA
M/s JSL

0.8
0.4
0.7

0.665
0.519
0.918

Conveying air
velocity m/s
Inlet

Exit

Solids loading ratio

Bottom ash
flow rate (t/h)

18.00
18.00
25.40

32.1
25.1
42.9

3.05
2.94
1.35

7.29
5.48
4.46

Power (kW)

Volumetric flow
rate (m3/s)

Energy
consumption
(kWh/t)

63.83
28.45
79.45

0.543
0.423
0.749

8.75
5.19
17.82

Table 4
Input data for bottom ash
Bottom ash
Summary of data
Gas

Pipe

Flow

Material

Symbol

Parameter

M/s OPGC

M/s IMFA

M/s JSL

Unit

Dp
T
R
m
Lh
Lv
Nb
k
e
d
mp
C1
p2
b
rs
ds

Estimate total pressure drop


Air temperature
Characteristics gas constant
Viscosity of air
Horizontal length
Vertical length
No. of bends
Bend loss coefficient
Pipe surface roughness
Diameter of pipeline
Product mass flow rate
Estimate inlet air velocity
Exit pressure
Sum of entry, exit and bend loss
Particle density
Particle diameter

0.653
301.00
287.10
0.00001846
155.00
25.00
8.00
0.15
0.15
0.15
7.29
18.00
1.01325
2.7
1734.00
212

0.46
301.00
287.10
0.00001846
155.00
25.00
8.00
0.15
0.15
0.15
5.48
18.00
1.01325
2.70000
1667.00
3930

0.713
301.00
287.10
0.00001846
155.00
25.00
8.00
0.15
0.15
0.15
4.46
25.40
1.01325
2.70000
2086.00
242

bar
K
J/kgK
kg/ms
m
m

mm
m
t/h
m/s
bara
kg/m3
mm

Behera et al. / Coal Combustion and Gasification Products 5 (2013)

Table 5
Output data for bottom ash
Bottom ash
Symbol

Parameter

M/s OPGC

M/s IMFA

M/s JSL

Unit

ma
a
Re
f
Leq
DPa
Dp
w
C1
C2

Air mass flow rate


Pressure loss factor
Reynolds no.
Pipeline friction coefficient
Equivalent length of pipe
Air only pressure drop
Pressure drop
Phase density
Inlet air velocity
Outlet air velocity

0.6133
3.30172
282015
0.00532
224.05
0.152
0.65290
3.3
18.0
29.6

0.5423
2.80709
249350
0.00534
223.95
0.121
0.46025
2.8
18.0
26.1

0.8966
1.38173
412285
0.00525
224.28
0.300
0.71535
1.4
25.3
43.2

kg/s

and mild-steel bends. The erosion rate in the case of the cast-iron
bend for M/s JSL was 2.1 g/t, for M/s OPGC it was 1.0 g/t, and for M/s
IMFA it was 4.8 g/t. These values are less than those for the mildsteel bend, which were 3.7 g/t for M/s JSL, 3.7 g/t for M/s OPGC, and
5.5 g/t for M/s IMFA. At an average product flow rate of 1.6 t/h and
conveying air velocity of 20 m/s, as were achieved in this pipeline,
the bends would last for 1216 hours.

m
bar
bar

m/s
m/s

lift, number and geometry of bends, and pipeline bore, were taken
into account (see the Appendix for scaling equations). The scaling
process was carried out in two stages. In the first stage, the scaling
was done for pipeline geometry and included pipeline routing and
bends that take into account the relative horizontal and vertical
distances and the number of bends. In the second stage, scaling was
in terms of pipeline bore to give the desired bottom ash flow rate
(Pan and Wypych, 1992; Behera et al., 2000).

4.2. Particle degradation of bottom ash


Sixteen tonnes of bottom ash from each source (M/s OPGC, M/s
IMFA, and M/s JSL) was conveyed pneumatically in the test rig.
Particle degradation size analyses were carried out after conveying
2 t of the total 16 t of bottom ash. The mean particle size of bottom
ash from M/s IMFA (Figure 5), M/s OPGC (Figure 6), and M/s JSL
(Figure 7) was reduced from 3.93 to 0.267 mm, 212 to 127.48 mm,
and 242 to 93.66 mm, respectively. Severe particle wall erosion
took place in M/s IMFA bottom ash.

5.1. Summary of scale-up design for all experiments at M/s OPGC,


M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL
Table 3 shows the scale-up design results for a plant pipeline of
150-mm bore pipeline, 155-m horizontal length, 25-m vertical
length, and eight bends by using the data obtained in the test
facility at IMMT for M/s OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL bottom ash
samples (Table 2).
6. First Approximation Design Methods

5. Scale-Up Design
The pipeline transfers the bottom ash from intermediate reception
hoppers to delivery silos. The reception hoppers are generally
vacuum loaded from the duct hopper by a negative-pressure
pneumatic conveying system. In total, the plant pipeline consists of
155 m of horizontal pipelines, 25 m of vertical pipeline, and eight
90u bends. The scaling parameters, i.e., horizontal distance, vertical

The first approximation method for pneumatic conveying


system design is based on air only pressure drop data. These
equations (Mills, 1990; also see the Appendix) are used to find out
the pressure drop and air mass flow rate value by taking into
account the mass product flow rate at 7.30, 5.48, and 4.46 t/h for
M/s OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL, respectively, for plant design
calculations. These figures of mass product flow rate have been
taken from scale-up design results. Excel programming input and
output data for all bottom ash are shown in Tables 4 and 5.
7. Comparison between First Approximate Equations and
Scale-Up Design Equations
Figure 8 shows the pressure drop and phase density values of all
bottom ash. The trend lies close to the scale-up design data, but
prediction of phase density or mass product flow rate values was
high compared with scale-up design data because the conveying
air inlet value is same for both the cases.
8. Design Calculations of a Typical Bottom Ash Collection and
Conveying System

Fig. 8. Comparison of pressure drop and phase density between scale-up and
design equations in bottom ash conveying.

A schematic of the entire ash collection and conveying system is


shown in Figure 9. Bottom ash from the boiler is collected in three
hoppers. Ash outlet is through a set of four grated doors. A single roll
crusher below this gate crushes the ash to reduce the particle size to

Behera et al. / Coal Combustion and Gasification Products 5 (2013)

Fig. 9. Design results of the bottom ash collection and conveying system.

9 mm for pneumatic conveying. Crushed ash is pushed to a screw


feeder that controls ash feed into the vacuum conveyor (Rastogi,
1997; Shah et al., 2005). The pneumatic conveyor consists of 250mm pipe through which materials are transferred under vacuum
to a silo approximately 180 m away. The results of vacuum
conveying 9-mm bottom ash where an ash transfer truck is
interposed in the pipe approximately 30 m from the feed hopper
are given in Figure 9. The truck has a collection tank and a pair of
pipe headers (supply and return) above it. When docked, it
becomes part of the conveying path and collects coarse ash (most
of the total ash), whereas fine ash continues with the return air
passing on to the silo. The 45-mm fine ash design results are
mentioned in Figure 9.
On the top of the silo is a filter/separator that separates the fine
ash and transfers it into the silo. Clean air passes on to the vacuum
source, a twin lobe type mechanical exhauster. Ash from the silo is
taken by trucks to a landfill site on the power plant premises.
9. Conclusions
Bottom ash with a mean particle size of 212 mm, 3.93 mm, and
242 mm from M/s OPGC, M/s IMFA, and M/s JSL thermal power
plants, respectively, can be conveyed in a dilute phase mode
positive-pressure pneumatic conveying system with 50-mmdiameter pipeline. These bottom ashes were successfully conveyed
with product flow rates of up to 2 t/h at a low conveying line
pressure drop up to 80 kPa; a minimum conveying line inlet air
velocity of 17 m/s is required.
The erosion rate of M/s IMFA bottom ash is very high for both mildsteel and cast-iron bends. In other cases, cast-iron bends erode less
than mild-steel bends. So, all bends must be reinforced with wearresistant materials and, even then, wear can be expected at some bends.

The scale-up design studies show that this product cannot be


conveyed in dense phase. The solids loading ratio value decreases
by increasing conveying distance. For the plant pipeline the
maximum phase density that can be expected with a conventional
blow tank system is approximately 3.
Acknowledgments
The authors thank Prof. B.K. Mishra, Director, Institute of
Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, India, for
permission to publish this paper. We also thank Dr. Vimal Kumar,
Head Flyash Mission, DST, Flyash Utilization Unit, Government of
India, for funding to study the behavior of bottom ash.
References
Behera, S., Das, S., Jones, M.G., Mohanty, R.C., 2000. Scaling up of conveying
parameters using computer aided design from test rig data to commercial
design parameters for crushed bath. In: International Conference on Powder &
Bulk Solids Handling. IMechE, London, U.K.
Deng, T., Li, J., Chaudhry, A.R., Patel, M., Hutchings, I., Bradley, M.S.A., 2005.
Comparison between weight loss of bends in a pneumatic conveyor and
erosion rate obtained in a centrifugal erosion tester for the same materials.
Wear 258, 402411. doi: 10.1016/j.wear.2004.02.012
Mazumder, Q.H., Shirazi, S.A., McLaury, B., 2008. Experimental investigation of
the location of maximum erosive wear damage in elbows. Journal of Pressure
Vessel Technology 130, 113031113038. doi: 10.1115/1.2826426
Mills, D., 1990. Pneumatic Conveying Design Guide. Butterworths, London, U.K.
Pan, R., Wypych, P., 1992. Scale-up procedures for pneumatic conveying design.
Powder Handling and Processing 4, 167172.
Rastogi, S., 1997. Pneumatic conveying of bottom ash. Powder Handling and
Processing 9, 370373.
Salman, A.D., Verba, A., Mills, D., 1992. Particle degradation in dilute phase
pneumatic conveying systems. In: Proceedings of the 18th Powder and Bulk
Solids Conference, Chicago, IL, pp. 337346.
Shah, S.R., Rastogi, S., Mathis, O., 2005. Applications of dry bottom ash removal
and transport for utilization. Fly Ash India, New Delhi, India. http://en.
wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_India, accessed June 2012.

Behera et al. / Coal Combustion and Gasification Products 5 (2013)

Appendix

Dp~Dpa (1za)

15

See Nomenclature table for an explanation of equation symbols.


Re~

Scaling equations

C1 ~

_ atf T1
m
m=s
2:737d2 p1

Dp
L
_ ptf | pp | etf
_ ppp ~m
m
Dptf
Lepp

 2
d
_ app ~m
_ atf | pp kg=s
m
dtf

 
p1
_
kW
P~202 V 0 ln
p0

"
#
0:5
_ 2 atf
1:34 Ym
{1:0 |100 kPa
Dpa ~ 1:0z
d4 |105

w~

mp tf
_ atf
3:6m


 X 
4f L
y~
z
k
d

ma R_ T0 3 
m s
V_ 0 ~
p0

10

"

Leq ~Lh z2Lv z

ma ~

bd
4f

pd2 p1 C1
4RT


12
16 4fLeq ma 2 RT
2
Dpa ~ p1 z 2 |
{p2 |100
d5
p

17

Symbol (unit)

Parameter

C (m/s)
d (m)
D (m)
f
k

Conveying air velocity


Pipeline bore
Pipe bend diameter
Pipeline friction
Bend loss coefficient (for smooth pipe and 90u bends
with D/d 5 10, k 5 0.1)
Pipeline length
Air mass flow rate
Mass product flow rate
No. of bends
Air pressure
Power
Actual temperature
Absolute temperature 5 (tuC +273)
Volumetric flow rate of air

L (m)
ma (kg/s)
mp (t/h)
N
p (kPa)
P (kW)
t (uC)
T (K)
V (m3/s)
a
b
Y
D
w
m (Pa?s)
e
gk

Pressure loss factor


Sum of entry, exit, and bend loss
Pipeline friction loss coefficient
Difference
Phase density
Viscosity of air
Pipe surface roughness (0.015)
Bend losses 5 Nb?k

Subscripts

11

12

1
2
a
b
e
h
min
0

13

14

18

Nomenclature

Greek

First approximation design equations



1 #
e 106 3
f ~0:001375 1z 20,000 z
Re
d

1:5
T
273:15
m~0:006515:
(Tz105:65)

16

 2
Dppp
dpp
|
Dptf
dtf

a~w

Le ~Lh z2|Lv zN b Leb m

_ ppp ~m
_ ptf |
m

4ma
pdm

pp
tf
v

Pipeline inlet, material feed point


Pipeline outlet, material discharge point
Air only
Bends
Equivalent value
Horizontal
Minimum value
Free air conditions
P0 5 101.3 kN/m2
T0 5 288 K
Plant pipeline
Test facility
Vertically up

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