Optimizing cooling pond configurations in a phosphoric acid plant with CFD simulation


Learn how simulation and design exploration tools from Siemens PLM software were used to optimize cooling pond configurations and energy management in the wastewater treatment process of a phosphoric acid plant.

Phosphate fertilizer plants are installations that evolve over time, which can make their design challenging. During the so called “wet process” taking place in the chemical plant, phosphate is mixed with sulphuric acid to produce phosphoric acid. Phosphogypsum is a by-product of this reaction, and after being mixed with water, it is converted into a slurry which is added to an existing stack containing previously dried gypsum. Over the years, the gypsum stack (“gypstack”) grows considerably, encroaching upon existing cooling ponds. Besides the loss of heat exchange surface, the rising of these stacks can significantly modify the environment near the plant, affecting the airflow. This changes the efficiency of the cooling pond by mitigating the convective and evaporative heat fluxes. Consequently, it becomes necessary to improve the energy management of the process and therefore find new heat exchange potentials.

In this webinar, Dr. Sylvain Devynck of TechnipFMC will demonstrate the role that Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation plays in achieving these goals. By developing a CFD model of the cooling ponds, taking into account the existing or predicted gypstacks, the project manager can assess the effect of different scenarios on the plant process efficiency. The combined effect of different parameters such as meteorological conditions, pond geometry, terrain elevation and process operating conditions can be estimated, providing a comprehensive view of the possible solutions, in order to determine the most efficient pond configuration.