A mathematical model for a bubbling fluidized bed has been developed to optimize the performance of the fuel reactor in chemical looping combustion systems. This model considers both the hydrodynamic of the fluidized bed (dense bed and freeboard) and the kinetics of the oxygen carrier reduction. Although the model is valid for any of the possible oxygen carriers and fuels, the present work has been focused in the use of a carrier, CuO-SiO2, and CH4 as fuel. The shrinking core model has been used to define the particle behavior during their reduction. The simulation of the fuel reactor under different operating conditions was carried out to set the operating conditions and optimize the process. The effect of different design or operating variables as the bed height, the oxygen carrier/fuel ratio, and the gas throughput was analyzed. Finally, a sensitivity analysis to the solid reactivity, the bubble diameter, and to the gas/solid contact efficiency in the freeboard was done. At vigorous fluidization, solid present in the freeboard can strongly contribute to the gas conversion in the fuel reactor. However, the gas/solid contact efficiency in this zone must be determined for each particular case.

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