• New IFRF Journal Publication – CFD as applied to high temperature air combustion in industrial furnaces

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Today a new paper (Article Number 200603, November 2006) has been published in the IFRF Combustion Journal (http://www.journal.ifrf.net), entitled:

CFD as applied to high temperature air combustion in industrial furnaces

By: Yang Weihong and Blasiak Wlodzimierz

Corresponding Author:

Yang Weihong
Division of Energy and Furnace
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Brinellvägen 23
100 44 Stockholm

Phone: + 46 8 20 76 81
FAX : + 46 8 790 8402

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Website: http://www.mse.kth.se/energy

This paper deals with a combustion technology that is referred to in the literature as High Temperature Air Combustion (HTAC or HiTAC) and High Efficiency Combustion (HEC, IFRF Doc No K70/y/156). The authors use computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modelling to study the performance of a furnace fitted with HTAC burners in various configurations. The in-flame and furnace exit predictions are compared to measured values from pilot furnace tests. The authors show that with appropriate development the combustion model can make good predictions of heat transfer and NOx emissions for the various geometries studied. The unique aspect of this paper is that the authors show how their results can be used to develop strategies for the optimum design of practical furnaces.


Combustion in a high temperature and oxygen deficient atmosphere shows different characteristics compared to combustion in a normal atmosphere. This is known as high temperature air combustion or HiTAC. The existing mathematical models have proven not to be suitable for simulation of HiTAC. It is a challenge of numerical simulation to be able to reflect the characteristics of HiTAC. The objective of this study is to develop and experimentally verify a mathematical model. We also expect to develop some parameters to classify the characteristics of HiTAC, which are different from normal combustion. In this work, the available mathematical models were investigated and developed. The numerical simulations undertaken here include numerical calculation of a single fuel jet in HiTAC conditions (including both cross-flow and co-flow of the fuel jet and air flow) and the modelling of a HiTAC test furnace with two different High Cycle Regenerative Systems (one flame and two flame systems).

The results show that the combustion model used for simulation of HiTAC must be capable of expressing precise reaction rates in a high-temperature and low oxygen partial pressure atmosphere. Concepts including the oxidation mixture ratio, furnace-gas-temperature-uniformity-ratio, the furnace flame occupation coefficient and the flame entrainment ratio were defined to describe the characteristics of HiTAC, which provides help for optimal design of a HiTAC furnace and burner. Additionally, the benefits of HiTAC technology are quantitatively demonstrated by mathematical models. These benefits are: lower peak temperature, larger flame volume, more uniform thermal field, lower local firing rate, higher heat transfer, higher energy utilizing efficiency and lower combustion noise. The operating parameters, including the oxygen concentration and the temperature of the preheated combustion air, the fuel temperature, the fuel flow rate, the excess air ratio and flame locations are shown to have stronger influences on combustion and NO emission in the HiTAC furnace. The optimum combination of these parameters should be considered. NO emissions formed by N2O-intermediate mechanism are very important during HiTAC operation. The approximate percentage of NO production by nitrous oxide according to the Zeldovich and prompt mechanism varies from 5:95 at 10% oxygen concentration to 95:5 at 5% oxygen concentration. The critical diameter and the length of the furnace fitted with HiTAC technology are proposed for an optimum design for HiTAC operation.

The numerical simulation results and are very encouraging and can be used as an analytical or a design tool of an industrial furnace

CFD, High temperature air combustion, furnace, flame, heat transfer, NO emission.

The full paper may be downloaded from the server, in the “New Papers” section (http://www.journal.ifrf.net/articles.html), by clicking on the Acrobat PDF icon alongside the title.

Publication in the Journal
The Editor-in-Chief would like to remind all potential authors that publication in the Journal is open to all. If you have interesting results to publish in the field of, or related to, industrial combustion, we invite you to prepare a paper according to the guidelines given in the Author’s Guide on the website (http://www.journal.ifrf.net/).

Papers may be regular “articles” (typically up to 20 pages) or Communications (typically up to 4/5 pages). Review papers can of course be longer. Remember that figures and graphics in general can be in full color. This advantage should be encouraged.

All manuscripts and associated files, proposed for publication should be sent by the Corresponding Author in a compressed/zip file, as an email attachment to journal@ifrf.net. This file should include a statement that the proposal’s content is unpublished material that has not being submitted for publication elsewhere. When an article by the author(s) is cited in the proposed article as “in press”, a copy of this article should accompany the proposed article and should be included in the compressed file.
The Editor-in-Chief looks forward to receiving your proposals.