Turbulent ﬂow and combustion in reallife syngas burner
Kamil Kwiatkowski
1;2
,Konrad Bajer
1;2
,Karol We¸dołowski
1;2
1
Institute of Geophysics,Faculty of Physics,University of Warsaw
2
Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling,University of Warsaw
kamil@igf.fuw.edu.pl
Abstract
When multispecies,nonpremixed ﬂows combine with chemical reactions,a common situation in industrial devices,the mixing or
diffusive phenomena become the key factors of understanding the whole process.Turbulence is conducive to mixing of species and
consequently may increase the reaction efﬁciency [1].That motivates us to study in details the mixing of fuel with air,in an industrial
burner of complex geometry (see ﬁg.1a).The fuel is syngas (gas obtained fromthe process of biomass gasiﬁcation).In order to isolate
the effects of turbulent mixing in a complexgeometry ﬂow,we ﬁrst neglect ignition and possible reignition and employ a relatively
simple parametrisation of chemical reactions.
We create a 3Dmodel of a real industrial syngas burner of complex geometry involving an axial coﬂowjet and six additional air inlets.
These extra inlets enhance the swirl and promote the generation of vortices,thus making the ﬂow more turbulent,and consequently
accelerate mixing [1,2].The exploratory simulations of nonreactive gas ﬂows are prepared using the commercial CFD Fluent solver
as well as the open source CFD package OpenFOAM[3].Both simulations are based on the RANS turbulence closure.
We also design and run a series of nonpremixed combustion simulations.To reconstruct the ﬂowﬁeld correctly we use Steady Flamelet
[4] approach for measured syngas composition.Despite the fact,that several simpliﬁcations are made,the results agree qualitatively
with the observations.
1.Introduction
Gasiﬁcation appears to be the most economically promising
way of thermal treatment of solid biomass waste [5,6,7].
An inhouse industrial installation enables clean waste disposal,
which would otherwise require costly outside contracting,and,
in the simplest version,generates heat used in the plant’s tech
nological process.The combination of the two beneﬁts makes
even the simplest gasiﬁercombustorboiler systems commer
cially viable provided the process is carefully designed to be
clean enough,so that the composition of the ﬂue gases meets
the environmental norms ([8,9]) and the cost of their additional
puriﬁcation is limited.Electric power cogeneration can con
siderably improve the economy of the whole process but any
efﬁcient cogeneration,whether with a gas turbine or internal
combustion engine,requires much bigger initial investment in a
systemof syngas puriﬁcation.
All three components of the gasiﬁercombustorboiler sys
tem must be individually designed for different types of solid
biomass waste.Off those three it is the combustor which has
the main effect on the composition of the ﬂue gases.It has to
be individually designed for the target ﬂow rate and for the par
ticular syngas composition determined by the kind of biomass
fed into the gasiﬁer [10].Some of the pollutants present in the
ﬂue gases are robust.Their content is determined by the chemi
cal composition of waste biomass and they have to be removed
from the ﬂue gases by speciﬁc chemical treatment.This is the
case,for example,with sulphur for which stable and reliable re
moval processes are known and ready desulphurisation instal
lations are available.Other pollutants are highly sensitive to
the details of the combustion process and their concentration in
the ﬂue gases may vary by more than one order of magnitude
depending on the apparently small change in the design of the
combustion chamber,burner,oxidant supply conﬁguration,etc.
This is the case with the NO
x
which are extremely sensitive to
the details of the reacting ﬂow inside the combustion chamber
[11,12].Their concentration measured in the ﬂue gases may
vary wildly without any noticeable change in the control pa
rameters of the industrial process.
To somewhat lesser extent this is also the case with carbon
monoxide (CO).Its chemistry is more robust and predictable
than that of the NO
x
but its emission may be affected by possi
ble irregular dynamics of the ﬂowcausing puffs of unburned CO
to exit the combustion chamber from time to time.A straight
forward counter measure would be to raise the temperature of
the combustion process but this is antagonistic to the reduc
tion of the NO
x
.Another limit on lowering temperature is the
requirement imposed on the combustion of syngas originating
from waste material.Such syngas must be subject to tempera
ture no less than 850
C for at least 2 seconds ([8,9]).
Since changing temperature in the combustor is restricted
by such opposing environmental constraints it is most important
to optimise the combined CO and NOx emissions by means of
careful design of the reacting ﬂow in the combustion chamber
and that requires numerical simulations which are the subject of
this paper.
In order to have as accurate and reliable numerical simu
lations as possible we develop two independent codes that are
run in parallel enabling quantitative intercomparison and cross
checking of the results.One set of simulations is done with
FLUENT and another,under the same conditions,with Open
Foam [13,3].With these two numerical codes we solve a se
quence of problems of increasing physical complexity building
up to the ultimate goal of timedependent simulations of the
combustion chamber of a real industrial installation with true
chemistry of the syngas actually produced froma particular type
of waste biomass.
All simulations are run in the true geometry of the com
bustion chamber with an axial coﬂow jet burner at the top,ad
ditional air inlets introducing swirl,and asymmetric outlet near
the bottom(see ﬁg.1).The ﬂowis driven by suction,i.e.,by the
pressure drop imposed at the outlet.In practise this is realised
by electric fans at the exit of the ﬂue gases from the boiler far
away fromthe combustion chamber.
All results reported in this paper are for steadystate simu
lations.First runs for unsteady ﬂow are now under way.With
unsteady simulations we hope to capture the slowmodes of tem
poral evolution of the ﬂow that we have actually observed in
the combustion chamber.Yet,even the steady state simulations
are quite revealing and indicated hitherto unknown characteris
tics of the temperature distribution and velocity ﬁeld inside the
chamber.
The ﬁrst stage is the simulation of ‘cold’ ﬂow,i.e.,the ﬂow
without chemical reactions,through the combustion chamber.
Somewhat remote from the ultimate goal of pollutant emission
modelling,yet these simulations serve two important purposes.
The ﬁrst is to compare FLUENTand OpenFoamperformance in
the simulations where the momentum transport dominates and
heat transport does not play a role.The second is to compare
such ‘cold’ simulations with measurements,not yet available,
that will be taken in the industrial installation during the next
maintenance break.We will then test the ﬂow with syngas be
ing replaced by air.Simple comparison of the relation between
the pressure drop and mass ﬂow rate through this complex ge
ometry will provide valuable means of validation of the code
and will be a test for different subgrid scale turbulence models.
The second stage is the simulation of ‘hot’ ﬂow.Then we
include those chemical reactions which strongly affect the en
ergy balance and therefore inﬂuence the ﬂow.These are pri
marily the combustion of CO and of H
2
.Large energy re
lease causes qualitative changes in the ﬂowpattern due to buoy
ancy of the hot gas.Strong counterﬂow (updraft) appears in
prominent recirculation zones and temperature distribution is
changed.
2.Turbulent cold ﬂow
2.1.Flow conditions
In largescale industrial syngas devices turbulence occurs natu
rally.Estimated values of Reynolds number which cover the
range of ﬂows in our simulations of nonreactive case,i.e.
‘cold’ ﬂow,is of the order 10
5
,hence the ﬂow is clearly turbu
lent and turbulence modelling must be used.The highest value
of Reynolds number,based on the diameter of the fuel inlet and
on the fuel inlet velocity,is equal 1:87 10
5
.
Environmental regulation require that the combusting gases
spend no less than 2 seconds in the region of high temperature
(minimum...).For a given gas volume ﬂux at the inlet,de
termined by the production rate of the gasiﬁer,this imposes a
lower bound on the volume of the combustion chamber which,
in the installation we are modelling is 36m
3
.A sketch of the
simulated combustion chamber is presented in ﬁgure 1.It con
sists of a vertical cylinder with the system of fuel and air in
lets installed in the top surface and an outlet located near the
bottom of the cylindrical surface.The position of the outlet in
the wall is a major departure from axial symmetry.The axial
(vertical) crosssection which includes the centre of the outlet
pipe is denoted (xz) plane.Another asymmetry is due to the
additional swirlenhancing air inlets in the top surface.Sym
metrically placed on a circle concentric with the main axial jet
those alone would make only small,possibly negligible,depar
ture from axial symmetry.However,due to the combination of
discrete auxiliary inlets at the top and the ﬁxed position of the
outlet the systemhas neither planar,nor axial symmetry.
Figure 1:The 3D model of the syngas burner.Six additional
inclined inlet pipes are mounted in the top wall induce swirl.
Details of inlets are presented in the lower picture.
Table 1:Boundary conditions for nonreactive ﬂows.
Boundary
V
axial
[
m
s
]
V
radial
[
m
s
]
V
swirl
[
m
s
]
Fuel inlet
8
0
0
Main air inlet
2.5
0
2.5
Swirl air inlets
0.5
0
0.5
In our simulations the values of gas and air inlet veloci
ties correspond to the typical values measured in industrial de
vices (particularly in the industrial installation for thermal waste
conversion working in Olsztyn).The boundary conditions are
clearly explained in ﬁg.1.Numerical values of the boundary
conditions are listed in table 1.Since the cold ﬂow simulations
include no chemical reactions,and density of the syngases is
comparable with density of air,we use air as the ﬂuid for both
the oxidiser inlets and for the fuel inlet.
The simulations are run using two alternative Computa
tional Fluid Dynamics codes,commercial code Fluent and
opensource package OpenFoam.For both CFD packages we
use the same setup,steadystate,incompressible solvers with
RANS k turbulence modelling.These requirements are
fulﬁlled by the predeﬁned OpenFoam solver called simple
Foam.Having the experience of two previous long series of
twodimensional RANS simulations closed by several turbu
lence closure models,we decided to choose the k closure
of RANS equations for the present series of simulations.Since
threedimensional ﬂows are naturally more complex we are go
ing to make a comparative study of other closures as well.
2.2.Comparison of Fluent and OpenFoamresults
First,we present contours of the axial velocity on the slice in
xz plane (ﬁg.2).The jet is composed of the streams of co
ﬂowing ﬂuid issuing from the fuel and oxidiser inlets.Addi
tional swirls,which supply air mainly for cooling the chamber
walls,does not show in this section.Their inﬂuence on the jet
is negligible.Qualitative observations show that in the Open
Foamsimulations the jest is slightly wider and has weaker core.
Quantitative analysis,the results of which are presented in ﬁg
ure 3,conﬁrmed systematically lower values of axial velocity in
the jet centre.
Interesting problemwhich we try to answer in this paper is
the inﬂuence of the geometrical asymmetry on the direction of
the main jet.In ﬁgure 3 the left panel shows the proﬁles of axial
velocities in the plane xz plane and the right panel in the plane
yz.
We can notice that Fluent simulations slightly break axial
symmetry (see ﬁg.3,left panel),this effect does not occur in
the OpenFoam simulations.We repeated the calculations with
OpenFoamfor three different meshes,all of themunstructured,
with 0:5 10
6
(called CCourse),0:75 10
6
(MModerate) and
1:0 10
6
(FFine) nodes.All results,plotted in ﬁgure 4 (plane
x z in the left panel,plane y z in the right panel),are al
most symmetrical.In our later simulations,with combustion
processes enabled,additional turbulence kinetic energy is pro
duced and departures fromaxial symmetry are prominent all the
time.
3.Turbulent,nonpremixed combustion
Table 2:Notation.
C
d
model constant of the order of unity
D molecular diffusion coefﬁcient
~
k Favreaveraged turbulent kinetic energy
N scalar dissipation rate
Sc
t1
,Sc
t1
model constants of the order of unity
u
k
kcomponent of velocity vector
Y
mass fraction of specie
~ Favreaveraged energy dissipation
turb
turbulent viscosity
mixture fraction
mean value (in sense of Reynolds averaging) of
quantity
~
mean value (in sense of densityweight averag
ing) of quantity
0
ﬂuctuation of fromReynolds averaged value
00
ﬂuctuation of from densityweight averaged
value
st
value of quantity where mixture fraction is
equal its stoichiometric value
!
production termof specie
3.1.Characteristics of syngas
Process of biomass gasiﬁcation gives unique combustible gas
called biomass syngas.This fuel is fully renewable and con
tains mainly nitrogen (if gasiﬁcation was made in pure oxygen
and biomass was nitrogenfree,nitrogen would be absent),hy
drogen and carbon monoxide (detail compositions,measured in
reallife gasiﬁers,are presented as mass fractions in table 4 and
as volume fractions in table 3).Due to its relatively low mean
caloriﬁc value,strongly ﬂuctuating composition and admixture
of soot and other solid components,syngas is most often burnt
in combustion chambers.Due to the fact that produced syngas
contains methane and other hydrocarbons,we have to use the
scheme for chemical reactions that allows for the combustion
of not only hydrogen and CO ([11]) but also of hydrocarbons.
The syngas generally does not contain hydrocarbons higher that
three atoms of carbon (table 3).Hence we can use the GRI3 [14]
detailed mechanism of chemical reactions and thermodynamic
data.We use the GRI3 for laminar ﬂamelet.It is based on
6 elements and 53 species appropriate for syngas and includes
more than 300 reactions.The simulations were performed for
the whole set of 53 species and for a simpliﬁed set of 20 species.
3.2.Conserved scalar approach
All species present in the combustion chamber obey the
advectiondiffusion (1) with nonlinear source term describing
the chemical conversions of the species.
@(Y
)
@t
+
@(u
k
Y
)
@x
k
=
@
@x
k
D
@Y
@x
k
+!
(1)
Under the assumption of equal diffusivities of all species,a
reasonable assumption for turbulent ﬂow,we can use the con
served scalar approach to separate the modelling of ﬂow and
combustion [15].For turbulent,nonpremixed combustion it is
convenient to introduce the mixture fraction variable, (some
times denoted also as f),deﬁned over the whole space and time,
to be the mass fraction of the material that originated from the
fuel stream.The origin of the material is constant during chem
ical reactions or conversions,so the mixture fraction is con
served (eqn.2).If combustion does not occur,the mixture
fraction simpliﬁes to fuel mass fraction.
@()
@t
+
@(u
k
)
@x
k
=
@
@x
k
D
@
@x
k
(2)
We usually normalise mixture fraction,so that = 1 in the
fuel stream and = 0 in the oxidiser stream which simpliﬁes
the boundary conditions for fuel and oxidiser inlets (see table
5).Mass fractions of the particular species of fuel are presented
in table 4.The sum over all species,according to deﬁnition of
mixture fraction,should be 1.
For largescale complex ﬂows with turbulence the set of
conservation equations (eq.2 also) has to be averaged.For
ﬂows with strong variation of density,which occurs naturally
in the combustion processes,the method of choice is density
weighted average (also called Favre average,[4]) deﬁned as
~
=
:(3)
Here the averaged quantity is split, =
~
+
00
,where
~
is the
Favreaveraged value and
00
is the departure (ﬂuctuation) from
the densityweighted mean.The second
0
is added to distinguish
00
fromthe ﬂuctuations in RANS averaging
0
..
The Favreaveraged version of the equation of mixture frac
tion conservation takes the following form:
@(
~
)
@t
+
@( ~u
k
~
)
@x
k
=
@
@x
k
D
@
@x
k
@(
^
u
00
k
00
)
@x
k
:(4)
For nonreacting scalar the gradient assumption can be used
for the last term on the right hand side (see [4]),so
]
u
00
k
00
=
Figure 2:Comparison of the OpenFoam(left) and Fluent (right) results,fro the simulations on the ﬁne grid (1:010
6
nodes).Qualitative
observation is that the OpenFoam jet spreads slightly wider and slower than that in Fluent.Quantitative comparisons are presented
below.
Figure 3:Comparison of the simulations with Fluent (FL solid lines) and OpenFoam (OF dashed lines),for the ﬁne grid (1:0 10
6
).
Four radial proﬁles of axial velocity V
axial
at different z stations (distance measured from the top surface) are plotted:0:5m (red),
1:5m(navy),2:5 (brown) and 3:5m(green).Left panel shows the crosssection along xaxis and right panel  along the yaxis.
Figure 4:Dependence of the OpenFoamresults on the mesh size.Shown are the resulta for three meshes:0:5 10
6
(called CCourse),
0:75 10
6
(MModerate) and 1:0 10
6
(FFine).Four radial proﬁles of axial velocity V
axial
at different z stations (distance measured
fromthe top surface) are plotted:0:5m(green),2m(black),3:5 (violet) and 5m(red).Left panel shows the crosssection along xaxis
and right panel  along the yaxis.
Table 3:Composition of syngases (volume fraction) produced in the process of biomass gasiﬁcation.Syngas composition depends on
the type and parameters of the biomass and on the conditions of the gasiﬁcation process.
Volume fraction
syngas 0
syngas 1
syngas 2
syngas 3
syngas 4
syngas 5
syngas 6
syngas 7
Nitrogen (N2)
0.486
0.538
0.531
0.493
0.543
0.562
0.518
0.550
Carbon Mono.(CO)
0.240
0.264
0.302
0.310
0.257
0.270
0.285
0.200
Hydrogen (H2)
0.180
0.081
0.074
0.089
0.079
0.065
0.061
0.080
Carbon Di.(CO2)
0.060
0.073
0.051
0.058
0.059
0.044
0.054
0.040
Oxygen (O2)
0.004
0.019
0.021
0.019
0.0500
Water (H2O)
0.024
0.026
0.033
0.021
0.021
0.039
Methane (CH4)
0.03
0.019
0.017
0.019
0.017
0.014
0.018
CH2
0.040
Ethyne (C2H2)
0.040
Ethane (C2H6)
0.001
0.001
0.002
Propane (C3H8)
0.003
0.003
0.003
0:Biomass syngas,source:www.treepower.org.
16:Syngases produced fromwood wastes.Composition measured in industrial gasiﬁers.Courtesy of Modern Technologies and Filtration Sp.z o.o.
7:Syngases produced fromturkey feathers.Courtesy of Modern Technologies and Filtration Sp.z o.o.
Table 4:Composition of the same biomass syngases given as mass fractions.
Mass fraction
syngas 0
syngas 1
syngas 2
syngas 3
syngas 4
syngas 5
syngas 6
syngas 7
Nitrogen (N2)
0.568
0.567
0.562
0.529
0.567
0.583
0.536
0.590
Carbon Mono.(CO)
0.281
0.277
0.319
0.333
0.268
0.280
0.295
0.214
Hydrogen (H2)
0.015
0.006
0.006
0.007
0.006
0.005
0.005
0.006
Carbon Di.(CO2)
0.110
0.121
0.085
0.097
0.096
0.071
0.088
0.067
Oxygen (O2)
0.005
0.023
0.025
0.023
0.061
Water (H2O)
0.016
0.018
0.023
0.014
0.014
0.027
Methane (CH4)
0.020
0.012
0.010
0.012
0.019
0.015
0.020
CH2
0.021
Ethyne (C2H2)
0.040
Ethane (C2H2)
0.001
0.001
0.001
Propane (C3H8)
0.005
0.005
0.005
Table 5:Boundary conditions for turbulent nonpremixed combustion.
Boundary
V
axial
[
m
s
]
V
radial
[
m
s
]
V
swirl
[
m
s
]
[]
0
2
[]
T
emp
[K]
Fuel inlet
10
0
0
1
0
800
Main air inlet
2
0
3
0
0
300
Swirl air inlets
6
0
6
0
0
300
Walls
0
0
0
0
0
1000 (300)
So far we have done simulations for hot and cold walls with uniform temperature distribution.Simulations with a more accurate temperature proﬁle
measured in a working industrial combustion chamber are currently under way.
D
t
@
@x
k
.In a turbulent ﬂow the turbulent diffusion coefﬁcient
D
t
is much larger than molecular diffusivity,so the latter is usu
ally neglected.
As we shall see later,the second moment of mixture frac
tion,
g
00
2
,is a parameter in the assumed probability density
function (PDF,see eq.8),so we must solve an additional equa
tion for its temporal evolution (eq.6,ref.[16,17]).
@(
g
00
2
)
@t
+
@( ~u
k
g
00
2
)
@x
k
=
@
@x
k
turb
Sc
t1
@
g
00
2
@x
k
!
(5)
+2
turb
Sc
t2
@
~
@x
k
C
d
~
~
k
g
00
2
;
The mean values of the reacting scalars (mass fractions of
all species) can be calculated fromthe equation 6 using the pre
sumed shape of the PDF of the mixture fraction,P(),and in
tegrating over the whole mixture fraction space,
f
Y
=
Z
1
0
Y
()
~
P()d:(6)
The shapes of this PDF is an empirical result of many exper
iments (cf.[18]).In numerical simulations of turbulent com
bustion mainly two kinds of PDFs are used:the clipped Gaus
sian function or a beta function,both parametrised by the mean
value of mixture fraction (obtained by solving equation 4 with
a CFDcode) and by root mean square of the ﬂuctuation of mix
ture fraction (obtained by solving equation 6).Alternatively,
the whole set of equations for the reacting species should be
solve directly,which is a lot slower and less convenient.The
betafunction PDF of the mixture fraction is deﬁned by the the
formulae 8 and plotted in ﬁgure 5 for several values of the mean
mixture fraction and of the variations of mixture fraction.
P() =
1
(1 )
1
R
1
(1 )
1
d
(7)
=
~
~
(1
~
g
00
2
1
!
=
1
~
~
(1
~
g
00
2
1
!
Due to large density ﬂuctuations in the combustion process
we use the Farveaveraged version of the betafunction PDF
~
P() =
()
P() (8)
Figure 6:Typical mixture fraction distribution neat to inlets.
3.3.Laminar ﬂamelet
Combustion takes place when two conditions are fulﬁlled.
Firstly,the value of the mixture fraction should be close to sto
ichiometric which ensures appropriate proportion of fuel and
oxidiser.Secondly,there should be a large gradient of the mix
ture fraction,which distinguishes the case when fresh fuel is
mixings with oxidiser fromthe case when fuel and oxidiser are
already burnt [15].Often such zones (ﬂamelets) are consid
erably thinner than the smallest characteristic length scale of
turbulence (Kolmogorov scale) and can be treated as a wrin
kled sheet of constant,stoichiometric,value of mixture fraction
[19].Locally it is possible to introduce the coordinate system
with two coordinates parallel to the isosurfaces of the mixture
fraction (see ﬁg.6) and with mixture fraction as transversal co
ordinate.Peters [4] reviewed the formal introduction of this co
ordinate transformation and derived the equations for the mass
fractions of all species (eq.9) and for temperature (10).The
main processes in the such ‘mixture fraction space’ are diffu
sion and chemical reactions.The inﬂuence of the ﬂuid ﬂow
on mixing is accounted for by considering the quantity called
scalar dissipation rate,N = 2Dr r,which may be inter
preted as the inverse of the characteristic time scale of diffusion
[20].
@Y
@t
=
1
2
N()
@
2
Y
@
2
+!
(9)
@T
@t
=
1
2
N()
@
2
T
@
2
+!
T
:(10)
Figure 5:Betafunctions PDFs plotted for values of mixture fraction from0:1 to 0:5 (function is symmetrical with respect to = 0:5).
Each plot shows the PDFs for 6 values of the mixture fraction variance.
Figure 7:Scalar dissipation rate in the laminar ﬂamelet model.
Boundary conditions for these equations are such like for
counterﬂowing jets of fuel and oxidiser with a stagnation point
(again see ﬁg.6.In such situation the scalar dissipation rate can
be analytically calculated ( see ﬁg.7),
N() = N
max
e
2(erfc
1
(2))
:(11)
This formula is an approximation valid especially in the regions
of stoichiometric value of mixture fraction (
st
) and it gives the
stoichiometric scalar dissipation rate,
N
st
(
st
) = N
max
e
2(erfc
1
(2
st
))
:(12)
In a turbulent ﬂow to obtain the mean values of the mass
fractions,
f
Y
,one has to integrate over mixture fraction and
over all possible values of the stoichiometric scalar dissipation
rate,
f
Y
=
Z
1
0
Z
1
0
Y
(;N
st
)
~
P(;N
st
)ddN
st
:(13)
Above a certain value of the scalar dissipation rate reactions
are always quenche so,in practice,the integration over in the
formula 13 is limited to a subinterval of [0;1].
The joint probability density function of
~
P(;N
st
) is gen
erally unknown.In the literature of the subject ([19,4,21,22])
it is discussed and commonly assumed that and N
st
are sta
tistically independent,so
~
P(;N
st
)
~
P()P(N
st
):(14)
Under the assumption of weak ﬂuctuations of N
st
,the proba
bility density function P(N
st
) reduces to
P(N
st
) = (N
st
~
N
st
);(15)
where
~
N
st
is typically modelled in the following way ([23])
~
N
st
=
C
N
g
00
2
k
:(16)
Great advantage of the methods based on tabulated chem
istry,like laminar ﬂamelet method,is the posibility of doing
all calculations of chemical reactions once,before running the
the ﬂuidmechanical simulations.The Flamelet Library built in
such way consists of solutions of eqs.9 and 10 depending on
the values of the mixture fraction and of the scalar dissipation
rate.Both these quantities,and also the variations of the mix
ture fraction that are nessesary for the betafunction PDF,are
computed in the CFD code.In ﬁgure 8 we show so tabulated
functions (temperature and Y
for selected species) from the
Flamelet Library computed with Fluent Selected dependencies
fromFlamelet Library are plotted in ﬁg.8.
Figure 8:Solutions of the Flamelet equations computed by Fluent.The panels show the dependence of temperature and of the selected
species concentrations on mixture fraction.
3.4.Results
The results are obtained using steadystate,pressurebased Flu
ent solver.Among simulating processes are turbulent ﬂows,en
ergy transfer,radiation and nonpremixed combustion,details
of Fluent setup are listed at the table 6.
Table 6:Summary of Fluent setup for the simulations of turbu
lent combustion.
Models
Energy
Turbulence
Realizable k
Radiation
P1
Nonpremixed combustion
Steady Flamelet
Solver
Steadystate
Pressure based
Even in this early stage the simulations correctly reproduce
major features of the real combustion process which we ob
serve in the working industrial burner.Firstly,the length of
the jets is consistent with observations.Although their extent
varies somewhat fromsimulation to simulation and depends on
the mesh size and on the wall temperature,they reach down,
roughly,to the middle of the combustion chamber (see ﬁgures
9).Secondly,simulations in all cases predict the presence of the
updraft near the wall of the chamber.The effect of this updraft is
clearly visible in the pattern formed by solid particles deposited
on the wall.Thirdly,none of the computational results show
symmetry,neither axial nor planar.In fact the ﬂow that we ob
serve in the working combustion chamber always lacks symme
try.Large departures from axial symmetry are clearly seen and
is currently being documented by the measurements of external
wall temperature.Visual observations as well as the analysis of
the highspeed camera recording show the combustion process
to be unsteady.The time dependence of the ﬂowand the effects
of unsteadiness cannot be captured by our steadystate (RANS)
simulations.In particular we are not able to predict any time
dependent phenomena,like oscillations of the jet length or jet
precession.
4.Conclusions
The simulations of nonreacting ﬂows,which we presented in
the ﬁrst part of the paper,were made using both Fluent and
OpenFoam.In both cases the results are in reasonable agree
ment.Since the OpenFoam CFD package seems reliable for
nonreactive ﬂows we are going to test its reacting ﬂow solvers
in the near future.Only a few OpenFoam solvers are dedicated
to combustion or reacting ﬂows,i.e.reactingFoam,ﬁreFoam.In
addition there are solvers designed specially for Diesel engine
simulations.
The simulations of combustion are highly sensitive to
changes in the process parameters,mainly to the ﬂuctuations
of temperature.
Qualitative observations made in the reallife device work
ing in an industrial plant provide strong evidence of the ﬂow
being timedependent.Through a window located opposite the
outlet we observe four main modes:1) ﬂame not visible at all;
2) clockwise ﬂame vortices appear momentarily and then are
transported by the ﬂowto the outlet;3) entire bottompart of the
chamber is ﬁlled with ﬂames;4) anticlockwise ﬂame vortices
ﬂow to the outlet.
From these observations we can infer the following four
distinct possibilities:
i) the dominant mode is oscillatory;
ii) there coexist different steadystate regimes and ﬂuctuations
cause the ﬂow to ‘switch’ between those regimes;
iii) the ﬂow is fully unsteady but on the slow time scale well
separated from the much short time scales of turbulence and
combustion.
Highspeed camera recordings,with time resolutions vary
ing from400 frames per second to 10000 frames per second,al
lowus to estimate the characteristic times scale of these modes.
The fastest modes are 1) and 3) with time scale of the order
0:01s while modes 2) and 4) are one or even two orders of mag
nitude slower.
a) b) c)
Figure 9:Colour map of velocity magnitude in the x z plane sections:
a) ﬁne mesh (10
6
nodes),hot wall (1000K);b) coarse mesh (0:5 10
6
nodes),hot wall (1000K);c) coarse mesh (0:5 10
6
nodes),cold
wall (300K).
a) b) c)
Figure 10:Results of the combustion simulations computed with Fluent.Colour maps of temperature the x z plane sections:
a) ﬁne mesh (10
6
nodes),hot wall (1000K);b) coarse mesh (0:5 10
6
nodes),hot wall (1000K);c) coarse mesh (0:5 10
6
nodes),cold
wall (300K).
In order to capture and analyse temporal variations we cur
rently running the unsteady RANS simulations.We are also
planning to performLES simulations for both reactive and non
reactive ﬂows.Those require much ﬁner mesh.The LES solvers
are also being developed for OpenFoam and we are going to
compare their results with Fluent.
The main longtermgoal of this work,is to reduce the emis
sion of nitric oxides.The production of the NO
x
is a highly sen
sitive process and its modelling requires very accurate simula
tions of the ﬂowﬁeld as well as the most sophisticated chemical
reaction model.
5.Acknowledgements
This research is sponsored by the Foundation for Polish Science
programme VENTURES (operated within the Innovative Econ
omy Operational Programme 20072013).Numerical computa
tions were performed in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Com
putational and Mathematical Modelling (ICM),University of
Warsaw,grant number G348.KK’s visitsg to the Univer
sity of Cambridge are supported by the Young Scientists Pro
gramme of the British Council and Polish Ministry of Science
and Higher Education.All experimental works were carried in
the gasiﬁcation system designed by Modern Technologies and
Filtration Sp.z o.o.(MTF).
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