What's New at REI

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Passing of Adel F. Sarofim

We are saddened to announce the passing of our colleague, Professor Adel F. Sarofim, on December 4, 2011. Adel was a co-founder of REI and played an important role in REI business for over twenty years, including serving on the REI Board of Directors for the past ten years. He assisted on numerous projects and proposals during his time at REI, spanning the range of combustion system performance, pollutant emissions, and operational optimization. He was especially interested in REI's R&D programs related to next-generation combustion processes and systems. Above all, he was a friend and mentor to a new generation of engineers. More information regarding Adel's life may be found in this online Memorial.

REI is collaborating with the University of Utah Department of Chemical Engineering to develop a memorial lecture in the name of Professor Adel Sarofim. To that end, the Department is accepting memorial gifts in Adel's name which will be used to honor his memory. If you so desire, please make gifts to the University of Utah, Department of Chemical Engineering Development Fund indicating it is in honor of Adel Sarofim.

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with KEPCO Research Institute

REI signed the MOU with Korea Electric Power Corporation Research Institute (KEPCO RI) to form a strategic alliance to provide mutual benefits and facilitate collaboration between two parties on November 9, 2011. For the details, please contact Dr. Shim at shimreaction-eng.com.

Mitigation of Syngas Cooler Plugging and Fouling

The operation of existing and design of proposed IGCC plants continue to be challenged by syngas cooler fouling. Reaction Engineering International (REI) with the support of the Department of Energy is actively involved in improving the state of understanding of syngas cooler fouling mechanisms and in developing strategies to mitigate fouling and plugging.

Our hypothesis is that plugging and fouling can not be eliminate but can be better managed. We are using a combination of small scale tests, analysis of syngas cooler deposits, modeling and guidance from industry to develop a better understanding of fouling mechanisms and to develop and evaluate strategies to improve syngas cooler performance. Cleaning methods of interest include:

  • Periodic in-situ tube cleaning based on targeted soot blowing, possibly in combination with metal coatings.
  • Alternative process conditions and syngas cooler design.
A field test of the developed technology is planned for later in the program.

REI and the State University of New York at Buffalo have recently been awarded a Phase II STTR contract from the US Navy for research involving the computational modeling of non-ideal munitions containing metal and hydrocarbon fuels. The modeling strategy will include several unique features that are important for understanding and predicting the ignition of compressible multiphase flows. These effects include both heterogeneous and homogeneous particle reactions, particle compressibility, and a turbulence modeling approach that naturally includes effects of group combustion. The modeling will be housed into a new 3D supervisory simulation framework pioneered by REI for examining blast environments.

REI has recently been awarded a subcontract from the University of Utah for research into "Retrofit Impacts of Oxy-Coal Combustion of PRB Coal on Deposit Formation and Mercury Speciation". This project is in support of a larger program for the University of Utah from the University of Wyoming. This program involves both experimental testing and computer modeling and will leverage REI's expertise developed during REI's on-going DOE-funded oxy-combustion R&D program.

REI's proposal on oxy-coal combustion was one of 15 projects chosen for funding by the U.S. DOE under the agency's $36 million dollar program aimed at furthering the development of new and cost-effective technologies for the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants. Under this multi-year project, REI will lead a team of university, national laboratory, and commercial entities to perform multi-scale experiments, mechanism development and CFD modeling in order to elucidate the impacts of retrofitting existing pulverized coal-fired utility boilers for oxy-combustion.

REI continues work on several R&D contracts through the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and STTR program. These programs include:

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