Course № M-4013 Practicing the Science of Computational Fluid Dynamics

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H.S. Pordal, Ph.D. Staff Consultant Stress Engineering Services, Inc. www.stress.com (513) 336 6701 December 8, 2006

Course Summary
This intense course provides a working understanding of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and an overview of best practices. It is designed to provide the engineer with basic knowledge to apply CFD, identify and solve real life applications. This course creates an awareness of the potentials and limitations of this technology. The engineer will be exposed to a wide range of applications and the course offers high benefits to those who have little or no exposure to CFD. This course offers engineers involved in CFD an opportunity to sample the wide range of applications that can be solved using CFD methods.


..................................................................... ii 1.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Part-I ................ 11 4....................................................................................................................................................................................................Table of Contents Table of Contents.............................................. 40 7............ 4 3................................................................................ 52 9.................. 12 4.............................................................................................3 Discretization:......0 Solver Technology .............................................................................2 Internal flow computations:.. 3 3............................................................................................................ 64 9...3 Best practices:............... 17 6............................... 6 3.................................... 10 4............ 43 8..........................0 CFD Applications................................................................................0 Role of CFD in the Industry........ 21 7.......... 41 8............................................................. 65 ii ..........4 Buoyancy driven flows:..............................2 CFD for multiphase flow:..........0 References.................. 17 5............................................................................ 16 5............................................................................. 64 11. 27 7....................... 29 7........................................................ 2 2........... 2 2................................................................................................1 Limitation of CFD methods :......................................................1 External aerodynamics : ....................................... 4 3....................................................... 27 7......................................................................1 What is CFD ? ....................................3 Compressible flow computations: .........1 CFD results :...................................................... 63 9.................................. Part-II..............0 Overview of CFD.......................................................................................................... 35 7..............................................................2 Why use CFD ?................. 1 2.......................................................................................................................2 Analysis of CFD results: ........................................................................ 17 5..................................4 Linear solvers: ....1 Governing equations :............................................................................................7 Flow and heat transfer: ...................................................0 CFD Applications..............................1 Flow domain definition : ...................2 Next generation CFD:............................ 45 8............................................6 Flow in a valve: ...................................................................................0 Future of CFD .....2 Mesh generation technology:......................3 Application of CFD to combustion systems:................. 2 2................. 14 4......0 Geometry and Mesh Generation ....................................................................................................5 Best practice: .............................. 33 7............ 13 4........................................................... 11 4..........................................................................0 Post Processing ..................................3 Three steps to CFD :.......................................................1 CFD for mixing applications: ..................................................................... 43 8..................... 31 7......2 Boundary conditions:.......................0 Introduction...............................5 CFD for fluid transport devices:..................................................................................................

The computational resources such as computer memory and computer speed are now easily available and also affordable. As a result.0 Introduction The role of computational methods in engineering design and analysis has greatly increased during the last decade. This has lead to a rapid growth in the breadth and depth of software available for analysis. This course provides the engineer with basic knowledge to identify. A desktop personal computer using today’s technology can achieve what a super computer achieved about 10 years ago. This is due to improved numerical methods and also due to the advent of faster computers. the general principles and philosophy described in this course are not specific to a particular software and apply in general. the number of engineers applying computational methods for solving engineering problems has also increased dramatically. In this course various aspects related to CFD technology are discussed. Mathematical modeling for engineering systems is on the rise. apply and solve real life CFD applications. However.1. 1 . The mechanics of applying CFD depend on the particular software being used.

2. • This technology provides a non-intrusive. CFD provides data at thousands of locations. Trouble-shooting. pressure and temperature are computed at thousands of locations. without the safety issues of a real process. • A number of designs can be explored on the computer reducing cut and try methods. momentum and energy. For a new design. Figure 2. The CFD solution is based on the first-principle of conservation of mass. • Complex flow fields for which measurements are not always possible can be analyzed using CFD methods. New Product Concept Process Design Process & Performance Evaluation Prototyping Full Scale Production Analysis.2. a number of design concepts can be examined in a virtual environment. non-invasive method of fluid flow and heat transfer analysis. 2. • Process scenarios can be examined in a virtual environment.2. While measurement probes provide point data.1 What is CFD ? CFD is the process of solving the fluid flow equations of mass.1: Role of CFD methods in product design.2 Why use CFD ? CFD is a leading edge technology applied to a large number of engineering applications. Rapid Proto-typing CFD Methods Figure 2. very often full-field data or data at multiple locations is required to fully diagnose a problem. The benefits of CFD can be summarized as follows: • CFD methods are applied to gain insight into fluid flow and thermal processes. The basic flow variables such as velocity. momentum and energy on a computer as applied to a particular geometry and flow conditions.1 indicates the integration of CFD methods in the design process.0 Overview of CFD In this Section a general overview of CFD technology and its merits are discussed. 2 . 2.

Post-processing: The third step is Post-processing. The accuracy of a CFD calculation and computer time required for a solution are dependent on mesh resolution. Selection of appropriate physical models and their applicability to the flow physics at hand is critical to the overall accuracy of a CFD solution. This involves identification of the flow region of interest. the real value of CFD simulation is frequently found in its ability to provide accurate predictions of integrated quantities such as heat transfer rates. 3 . outflow. geometric representation of the region. The spatial plots give the analyst a ‘look inside’ the unit which is unavailable experimentally. flow variables at thousands. This step is the Solution step.3. Once a mesh is created appropriate boundary conditions are applied to define regions of inflow.1. The governing equations are solved at discrete locations in the flow domain. User experience and skill play a crucial role in the choice of a suitable mesh.1: Steps of performing a CFD analysis Pre-processing: The first step in performing a CFD analysis is called Pre-processing. a turbulence model is activated to simulate turbulent flow. The governing equations are coupled and non-linear in nature. Therefore a guess-and-correct. However. PRE-PROCESSING SOLUTION POST-PROCESSING Analysis of results Extraction of data Geometry generation Grid generation Physics Iterative solution of governing equations Figure 2. iterative strategy is adopted to compute the solution. A representation of the flow field is created by plotting flow variables in space on a plane or a line or in a three-dimensional region of interest. mass transfer rates and forces. A CFD solution provides full-field data.3 Three steps to CFD : CFD analysis can be broken down into three main steps. meshing and definition of flow physics.3. Pre-processing. Solution and Post-processing. Physical models within the CFD software are activated to simulate flow physics pertaining to the application at hand. perhaps hundreds of thousands of locations are available. The next step is mesh definition. Once the region is defined. walls and other important features. Proper selection of the region of interest and appropriate simplifications play a key role in the success of the calculation. These locations depend on the mesh resolution. during which CFD results are analyzed. The main steps of performing a CFD analysis are depicted in Figure 2. For example. a computer model of the geometry is created. viz. Solution: Once the problem definition is completed it is submitted to the solver for computation of a solution.2.

surfaces that are in contact with the fluid. Once the flow region is identified a flow model of the region is created and meshed. 4 . The boundaries at which flow conditions are specified (inflow/outflow) must be far from the region of interest.1 Flow domain definition : The selection of an appropriate flow domain is key to the success of obtaining a CFD solution.3. the flow region is defined by the inner surfaces of the pipes as depicted in Figure 3.1: Flow region for pipe-junction (internal flow). For internal flows. the flow region is defined by the wetted surfaces i. behind and around the automobile is included in the flow domain so that appropriate boundary conditions can be imposed as depicted in Figure 3. 3.2. the flow region includes the region around the automobile.1.1. such as flow over an automobile. Consider flow in a pipe-junction. outflow and wall boundaries are specified. The region ahead.0 Geometry and Mesh Generation In this Section the pre-processing aspect of CFD is discussed.1. An inflow. For this reason the flow domain includes a substantially large region ahead. behind and above the automobile. Inflow boundary Wall boundaries Outflow boundary Outflow boundary Figure 3.e. For external flows.1 A section upstream and downstream of the pipe-junction is included in the flow domain so that appropriate boundary conditions can be specified.

These objects are too small to alter the overall flow in any appreciable manner. floor and ceiling of the room. the thickness of the chair seat can be ignored and the seat can be modeled as an impermeable thin object with zero thickness. The inflow and outflow regions in the room are the supply and return vents. Engineering judgement along with some understanding of the expected flow behavior is applied in selecting objects that need to be included in the flow model. consider modeling the overall flow behavior in the room in which you are currently sitting.Faraway boundaries (flow can leave or enter the computational domain) Ground Inflow boundary Figure 3. If the thickness of an object is much smaller than the grid size that will be used then the object can be represented as a thin surface (impermeable surface of zero thickness). 5 . Features that do not affect the flow behavior in an appreciable manner or are too small to be resolved are not included in the flow domain geometry. The flow domain in this case is enclosed by the walls. The exact shape of the chairs and tables is not modeled to study the overall flow behavior in the room. For instance. Objects on the table such as a book. unless you are specifically interested in the flow around these objects. As an example.1. Objects in the room such as tables and chairs can be represented as rectangular obstacles. etc. While defining the flow domain appropriate simplifications of the flow geometry are required. a pen.2: Flow region for simulation of flow over an automobile (external flow). are not included in the flow model.

Whereas. Many CFD packages facilitate easy import of geometry CAD files created by solid modeling packages.1.2. Most commercial CFD packages include a CAD like geometry generation engine.Once the flow domain is selected a model of the flow geometry is created. For example. 8 edges and 5 faces Tetrahedral element 4 corners. 12 edges and 6 faces Pyramidal/wedge element 5 corners. the flow domain is created using the information supplied in the CAD file.k).2.j. The common type of mesh elements used in CFD solvers are hexahedral. In such cases. A number of structured blocks can be arranged to define a complex three-dimensional mesh region. A grid cell in a structured mesh can be identified by a unique three-dimensional index (i.2 is known as a single-block structured mesh.2 Mesh generation technology: Once a model of the flow geometry is created it is then meshed. A mesh consisting of hexahedral elements arranged in a rectangular region as depicted in Figure 3. 3. Hexahedral element 8 corners.1: Mesh element types for CFD analysis.k).j.2. CAD created for manufacturing represents the solid region of an object and the flow region is not included in the CAD. the flow domain is the region inside the pipe.2. The grid cell in each block is identified by a unique three-dimensional index (i. A CAD file created for some other purpose such as manufacturing requires modification and cannot be used ‘as is’ for CFD modeling.e. 6 edges and 4 faces Figure 3. The mesh defines the locations at which the flow solution is computed. the solid material of the pipe. pyramidal or wedge shaped as depicted in Figure 3. Figure 3. tetrahedral. CAD created for manufacturing a pipe represents the outer and inner surfaces of the pipe i. 6 . such an arrangement is called a multi-block structured mesh.3 depicts a multi-block structured mesh.

K=1 I Figure 3. this is then used to mesh the inside of the geometry. J=3. Four blocks Figure 3.K J Cell I=3. A mesh consisting of tetrahedral elements are very 7 . Tetrahedral meshing technology allows relatively easy meshing of complex geometries.2. The grid structure obtained using tetrahedral meshes is called unstructured mesh. Unlike a structured mesh. a grid cell cannot be identified using a single three-dimensional index.2: Single-block structured mesh.2.3: Multi-block structured mesh. A surface mesh consisting of triangular elements is first created.

6 depicts skewed mesh elements. a mixed element mesh consisting of hexahedral elements that transition into pyramids and eventually into tetrahedral elements are used to mesh complex flow geometries. Rapid changes in mesh density can introduce numerical errors.4: Tetrahederal mesh. Very often to optimize the number of elements and for ease of mesh generation.2. the number of mesh elements required to mesh a region with tetrahedral elements is about 5-6 times the number of elements required when a hexahedral mesh is created.2. A typical tetrahedral mesh is depicted in Figure 3. Figure 3. 8 . Figure 3.4. Figure 3. A poor quality mesh will not only affect the numerical accuracy but also convergence.5 depicts mesh elements with high aspect ratio (width to height ratio).2. For a given mesh length.commonly used to mesh complex three-dimensional geometries.7.2. Mesh aspect ratio and skewness are two parameters that influence mesh quality.2. Mesh size variations must be gradual as depicted in Figure 3. The mesh quality has a strong influence on the accuracy of the solution.

2.6: Skewed mesh elements and rapidly changing mesh density.Width to height ratio of cells is large Figure 3.2. 9 .5: High aspect ratio mesh elements. Skewed cells (flat and thin cells) Rapid change in mesh density Figure 3.

grid quality. 10 . Some CFD software packages are more forgiving and tolerant of the mesh quality and converge without too much difficult.3 Best practices: The type. aspect ratio that can be tolerated depends on the flow solver and the flow physics of interest. quality and distribution of mesh elements have a strong influence on the solution. The actual degree of grid skewness. Guidelines for a quality mesh are as follows: • • • • • Select a mesh length that is appropriate for the resolution desired. Rapid changes in mesh density can have an adverse effect on convergence and accuracy. 3.Small elements Gradually varying elements Large elements Figure 3. Aspect ratio of 10 or higher is not normally desirable.2.7: Gradual mesh size variation. A change in mesh size between adjacent cells must be less than 2. Avoid large skewness.0.

4. The transport equation for specie concentration φ is described using equation (4. This involves the solution of additional equations. The effect of turbulent fluctuations is simulated using turbulence models. j. For example.1.1. t is time.1. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods are based on first principles of mass. Sm is mass source due to reactions or other mass transfer mechanisms. convection into volume and sources.1 Governing equations : The governing equations are conservation equations of mass. phase change and energy generation by other mechanisms. the first term in the mass conservation equation represents rate of change of mass with time. A number of approaches are adopted to simulate turbulent flow behavior.3 represent three coordinate directions.2) Energy: ∂ρH ∂ρu j H ∂q j ∂uiτ ij ∂p = + Sh + + + ∂t ∂x j ∂t ∂x j ∂t (4. H is fluid enthalpy.4) Specie: + ∂x j ∂t The conservation equations represent rate of change with time. P is fluid pressure. For situations involving additional species. τ is shear stress and i.3) Where ρ is fluid density.4). k = 1. the second term represents the net mass flux.1.0 Solver Technology 4. momentum and energy conservation as described by the following equations: Mass: ∂ρ ∂ρu j = Sm + ∂x j ∂t ∂ρui ∂ρui u j ∂P ∂τ ij + Sfi = + + ∂xi ∂x j ∂x j ∂t (4. The source may be due to chemical reactions or any other mechanism by which mass is created. x is coordinate.1. The approaches vary from simplistic algebraic models for turbulence to complex methods where the fluctuations associated with the turbulent field are captured. Sf represents momentum source due to mass transfer. momentum and energy. Resolving the fluctuations spatially and temporally is quite difficult and not practical in most cases. The magnitude of the fluctuations is a fraction of the mean value. The term on the right-hand-side represents mass source. u is velocity. a conservation equation for each specie is also solved. Turbulence modeling Turbulent flow is characterized by rapid fluctuations of flow variables about a mean value. Sh is energy source due to mass transfer. 11 .2. ∂ρφ ∂ρφu j = Ss (4.1) Momentum: (4. body forces such as gravitational force etc.

4. outflow or wall. This method requires an extremely fine grid and very fine time steps and is not practical for general CFD application. For example. whereas. A time dependent solution is required so that the unsteady behavior of the eddies is accurately captured. The smaller eddies are modeled using a subgrid model. the energy equation is not selected and solved for isothermal flows. the k-epsilon model is applicable to most industrial CFD applications. the small scale eddies are independent of the large scale eddies and can be represented using a subgrid model. LES simulations cannot be easily applied for industrial applications. RANS methods provide a viable solution to most CFD applications. The grid requirements and time step requirements for LES simulations results in large computer resources. Additional equations as defined by the selected turbulence model are solved to compute turbulence related quantities. pressure and outflow specified boundaries are used to model regions through which the flow can either enter or leave the flow model geometry.2 Boundary conditions: The governing equations are selected based on a problem definition. Variants of k-epsilon model such as RNG or the k-omega model provide an improved solution for such situations. The common surface boundary condition types are velocity specified. In this method. Velocity. In this approach. the time dependent Navier-Stokes equations are solved such that the fluctuations associated with turbulence are captured. Wall boundary conditions are used to represent solid surfaces of the 12 . The governing equations are solved subject to boundary conditions. In this approach. An outflow boundary is used to represent regions through which the flow leaves the flow model. At a velocity boundary. pressure specified. LES simulations require a very fine grid so that the large scale eddies can be resolved. A number of turbulence models have been developed. the velocity components are specified and this type of boundary is used define the inflow into a CFD model. the large scale turbulent eddies are computed by solving time dependent Navier-Stokes equations. more advanced turbulence models such as Large Eddy Simulation (LES) are also applied. Pressure boundaries are used to define openings in the flow model through which the flow can either leave or enter the flow domain. In some cases. the k-epsilon turbulence model solves an equation for the turbulent kinetic energy defined by the quantity k and another equation for epsilon the turbulence dissipation rate. However. The large scale eddies are dependent on the flow behavior and geometry. the Navier Stokes equations are averaged and the effect of turbulence is represented by using an effective viscosity.A common approach is to solve Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes equations (RANS). For example. Flows with swirl or large regions of separation cannot be accurately modeled with k-epsilon model. The most sophisticated level of turbulent flow computations use Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS).

Using a Taylor series expansion it can be shown that the truncation error is of order (dx). For heat transfer applications temperature or heat flux is specified at wall boundaries.(dφ/dx)i dx + (d2φ/dx2)(dx)2. ( is called upwind differencing. The differencing scheme in equation (4. This is best illustrated using a simple example as described below. φi-1 is expressed as a Taylor series expansion about φi using equation (4.3) Using equation (4. a second-order scheme can cause wiggles in the 13 .2) and equation (4.3) the truncation error associated with the differencing scheme described in equation (4.3. A no-slip boundary condition for the velocity is used at walls.2) Similarly. the differential form of the equations is discretized using a Taylor series expansion.3. (dφ/dx)i = (φi – φi-1)/ dx (4. but provides lower accuracy and tends to smear out gradients.e. For example. the truncation error is of order (dx)2. On the other hand. the derivative at point i uses the values at points i+1 and i-1.4) The increased accuracy associated with a second order scheme as compared to that of a first order scheme comes at the price of robustness.3. The first order scheme is more robust. Each discretization method has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this method. A first derivate can be expressed as follows: dφ/dx = (φi+1 – φi-1)/ 2dx.3. (4. Finite Volume Methods (FVM) or Finite Difference Methods (FDM). The accuracy of the discretization scheme depends on the truncation error which is estimated using Taylor series expansion. In other words. a first order scheme if used to resolve a shock-wave can smear the shock-wave and result in an inaccurate prediction.3).3. 4.3. φi-1 = φi . (4. the grid spacing is dx. The Navier-Stokes equations are discretized using either Finite Element Methods (FEM).1) uses the values of the variable on either side of the point in consideration. This scheme is known as central differencing and for a first derivative it is second order accurate i.flow model. φi+1 = φi + (dφ/dx)i dx + (d2φ/dx2)(dx)2.3.1) is estimated to be of order (dx)2. Finite Difference Method (FDM) is the oldest method for discretization of the governing equations.1) where φi+1 and φi-1 are the values of the variable at the i+1 and i-1 grid points.3 Discretization: The governing equations are solved using numerical methods. At times a second order scheme can create local oscillations in the solution and this can result in a solution process that is difficult to converge or unphysical in nature. A differencing scheme that uses the value of the variable only from one-side as illustrated in equation (4. This is scheme provides first order accuracy.

Some such schemes are MUSCL scheme and flux-limited Van Leer scheme. n u w s v e Figure 4. (4.5) The fluxes on the faces are computed using the velocity and density of the neighboring cells.A)s – (ρ.u. the integration of continuity equation over the control volume depicted in Figure 4. These are linearized and solved by inverting a matrix. The governing equations are integrated over a control volume resulting in a discretized form of the equations. Some commercially available CFD packages use a hybrid method that uses the key features of FVM along with FEM. (ρ. Finite Element Method (FEM) uses shape functions associated with the element (cell) type for discretization. though there are commercially available CFD packages based on this method.A)w – (ρ.4 Linear solvers: The discretized equations result in a non-linear and coupled set of algebraic equations. To circumvent this difficulty hybrid differencing schemes have been developed. the fluxes are computed using the upstream values of the variables.3. FEM is not commonly used for CFD calculations. etc. The finite volume method is used in most commercial CFD packages for discretization of the equations.1). The discretized and linearized equations in matrix form are represented by equation (4.1: Descretization over a cell.1 results in the following form of discretized equation.). Weight functions that minimize the error or variation of variable over the element are applied.0.solution around the shock-wave and result in an unphysical situation.u. Finite Volume Method (FVM) uses a control volume approach.4. For upwind differencing.v. 4.3. 14 . The Navier-Stokes equations do not naturally lend itself to this method of discretization.A)n = 0.v. The Navier-Stokes equations are conducive to finite volume discretization and this method can be applied to any general cell type (hexahedral. tetrahedral.3. These provide second order accuracy in most regions but reduce to a lower order scheme to prevent unphysical oscillations in the solution.A)e + (ρ. pyramidal. For example.

This is called coupled direct solution method.4. (4.1) is satisfied to a specified degree.4.[A] [X] (4.4.2). The degree to which the solution is satisfied is measured by the residual as defined by equation (4. Once the solution vector is obtained the matrix [A] is updated and the solution vector recomputed.v. The iterations associated with computing the inverse of the matrix are very often referred to as inner iterations and the iterations associated with the non-linearity and coupling between the equations are known as outer iterations. It is very often decomposed into a lower tri-diagonal and upper-tridiagonal matrix also known as LU decomposition. This process is repeated till equation (4. In most commercial CFD software the matrix inversion process is generally transparent to the user. algebraic multigrid methods are some such methods. The matrix is too large and complex to be solved directly.w. the user has control over the outer iterations and this is specified as one of the inputs.4. The approximate inverse of matrix [A] is computed by inverting [L] and [U]. [A] is the coefficient matrix and depends on the solution vector [X]. The structure of matrix [A] is exploited in computing the inverse. A large matrix relating all the variables and equations can be created for the entire mesh. each equation is solved sequentially resulting in a segregated solution procedure. so an exact inverse is not necessary. The size of the matrix in this case is smaller as compared to that for a coupled system. [X] = [L]-1[U]-1[R] –[E][X] (4.4) This results in an iterative process of computing the matrix inverse. Conjugate gradient methods. 15 . The governing equations are non-linear and coupled. The solution vector [X] is obtained by inverting the matrix [A]. [A] = [L] [U] + [E]. [r] = [R]. where [E] represents the error.P. The inversion of this matrix results in a coupled scheme of solution. However.1) where [X] is the solution vector of flow variables (u. [R] is the right-hand-side of the discretized equations.3) (4.[A] [X] = [R].4. The linearized system of equations is solved using various methods of inverting the matrix [A].2) The coefficient matrix [A] is large and cannot be easily inverted using conventional methods of linear algebra. A matrix is setup for each equation and that equation is solved before proceeding to the next. The coefficients of the matrix [A] also depend on the solution vector [X]. Very often.4. Segregated solution method is adopted in most commercial CFD packages.T).

the initial guess is far from the final solution. Convergence is assessed by examining the residuals of the equations. for turbulent flow ensure that a turbulence model has been selected. Φ = ω*Φ1 + (1-ω)*Φ2. • • 16 .5). steady.3 and 1. For solutions that are difficult to obtain or if the solution diverges reduce the under-relaxation factors. For example. (4.5 Best practice: • • • Ensure that the boundary conditions are realistic and represent the flow behavior under investigation. The residual represents the degree to which an equation is satisfied. the guess-and-correct procedure can lead to divergence of the solution.0.5) where ω is under-relaxation factor. The typical under-relaxation factor varies between 0. A tolerance of less than 1% is typically used. Φ1 is most recently computed solution and Φ2 is solution at the previous iteration. 4. about 10 to 20 iterations and check the boundary conditions.4. A smaller under-relaxation factor is used for more complex cases where the non-linearities are strong. Mass flow balance in the flow domain is often used as the convergence criteria. Obtain a solution using first-order accurate differencing scheme. For incompressible. This is overcome by under-relaxing the solution. Check that the appropriate flow models have been selected. Verify that the flow rate specified at the boundary condition is correct and the direction of flow is correct. use this as the starting point for a solution using a second-order differencing scheme. Very often.The Navier-Stokes equations are coupled non-linear equations and the final solution is obtained using a guess-and-correct solution method.4. If necessary. Run the flow solver for few iterations. internal flow the inflow mass flux must match the outflow mass flux within a specified tolerance. The variables are allowed to change gradually using an under-relaxation factor as described by equation (4.

The real value of a CFD simulation is frequently found in its ability to provide accurate predictions of integrated quantities such as heat transfer rates. 5. flow variables at thousands. The value of a flow variable at a specific location (point in space) can also be extracted by probing the CFD solution. The flow behavior can be analyzed by plotting the velocity vectors on a selected plane.1b.2. regions of low and high pressure are identified. The spatial plots give the analyst a ‘look inside’ the unit which is generally difficult to obtain. The velocity vector arrows indicate the direction of the flow and the color indicates speed. Plotting the velocity field over a three-dimensional region can obscure the flow field and is difficult to view.2.2 Analysis of CFD results: A representation of the flow field is created by plotting flow variables in space on a plane or a line or over a three-dimensional region of interest.2. Regions of flow recirculation can be identified by plotting the velocity field. pressure. Figure 5. mass transfer rates and forces. These quantities are available at the mesh locations used for computing the flow field. Regions of high shear stress indicate areas of high frictional drag. This to a large degree depends on the ability and experience of the practitioner.1a and Figure 5. density. perhaps hundreds of thousands of locations are available. Line plots to depict the flow behavior or a region of interest can also be created. The vectors can be colored with any other quantity such as temperature. shear stress. The merits of CFD simulation are realized when the relevant information is extracted from the simulation results.2. The velocity components.1 CFD results : A CFD solution provides full-field data. In this step.2b depicts the shear stress distribution on the surface of the automobile.3 shows the variation of speed along the centerline of a pipe. 17 .0 Post Processing This is the final step of performing a CFD analysis. The flow field is also analyzed by examining contours of quantities of interest such as speed.2. Figure 5. temperature. Figure 5.5. temperature and other flow related quantities are available from a CFD solution. 5. Flow behavior is analyzed by examining the velocity vectors on a series of planes as depicted in Figure 5.2a depicts the pressure distribution. the results are extracted and intepretted. pressure.

1b: Velocity vectors depicting flow around automobile.2.2.1a: Velocity vectors depicting a flow field in T-junction. Wake behind automobile Velocity vectors on mid plane Velocity vectors are colored with speed (m/s) Figure 5.Plane 1 Plane 2 Velocity vectors on planes Velocity vectors are colored with speed (m/s) Figure 5. 18 .

Figure 5.2.2b: Contours of shear stress (Pa).High pressure due to impingement of flow Figure 5.2. 19 .2a: Contours of pressure (Pa).

In many cases the CFD solution is used to compute the forces acting on a body immersed in a fluid. Surface averaged mean pressure or temperature can also be computed. For example. The mean volumetric concentration of a specie in a region of interest can be estimated from a CFD solution. the structural design of turning vanes in a ductwork depends on the flow induced forces on the vanes.3: Variation of speed along the center-line of a pipe. Average quantities derived from the flow field are also computed to analyze the flow behavior. A CFD solution provides a deluge of information. Mean heat transfer coefficient over a surface of interest can also be computed from a CFD solution.Peak pressure due to impingement of flow Location of line in pipe Figure 5. lift or components of force can be obtained. Integrated quantities such as drag. In such a case. 20 . CFD is used to compute the lift and drag over airfoils and wings. Mean quantities over a volume can also be computed. the forces are estimated using a CFD solution.2. The flow behavior is analyzed by examining the flow field on planes and lines.

Applications in this arena include flows over aerodynamic shapes. climate control and under-hood cooling. the role of CFD in various industrial sectors is summarized. fuselage. CFD is widely applied for analysis of 21 . These benefits make CFD a viable tool for analysis. In general. design and rapid proto-typing. CFD is routinely applied for aerodynamic calculations. chemical companies. The heating and ventilation industry. CFD technology is now an accepted method of obtaining solutions to fluid flow and heat transfer problems. The overall behavior of flow is very well understood and small improvements (on the order of 1%) are sought to achieve incremental increases in performance. pumps etc. CFD methods are applied to understand the overall flow behavior. Relative comparison of various designs is carried out using CFD methods. applied and regarded as a credible solution method in the Aerospace industry. nacelles and after-bodies.0 Role of CFD in the Industry CFD methods are widely applied within various industries to examine fluid flow and heat transfer behavior. This industry also includes companies that supply components/units needed by the aerospace companies such as aircraft engines. hover craft and space systems generation companies. density. Pressure. The Aerospace industry has been applying CFD methods for the longest period of time. Aerospace This industry is engaged in the business of design and fabrication of airborne/space vehicles. including oil and gas companies. velocity. In this section.” without actually building a physical model. A typical CFD study is aimed at comparing different designs. CFD methods in this industry are routinely applied to improve lift and drag of aerodynamic surfaces. In the Aerospace industry. CFD study of a full-scale model can be carried out. ‘What-if’ studies are performed to examine the influence of various parameters on flow behavior and hence performance. It includes major aircraft manufacturers. wings. It has gained a great deal of credibility in many industries and has been integrated into the main stream of design and analysis. In the automotive and heavy equipment industries. CFD is widely accepted.6. helicopter. thus eliminating scale-up issues. CFD is applied for external drag calculations. CFD was pioneered in the Aerospace industry. valves. ‘Homegrown’ software is widely applied in this industry and most of the CFD activity is restricted to ‘CFD experts’. power generation industry and chemical process industries. temperature and other quantities of interest are obtained at each and every point in the simulated flow domain. In fact. The typical problems solved using CFD methods are also discussed. Unlike experimental methods. CFD provides full-field data. such as computation of lift and drag of lifting surfaces. pulp and paper companies and pharmaceutical companies are now beginning to apply CFD methods to gain insight into their various processes. A number of conceptual design changes can be examined rapidly in a “virtual laboratory.

A typical analyst in this industry is required to perform CFD analysis along with FEA analysis. external flows. cross-over elements. as a result. Typical applications involve flows inside passenger compartments of automobiles. torque convertors.aircraft components/units such as compressors. pumps. components and design/analysis services for the automobile companies are included in this industrial sector. CFD technology is highly regarded and well integrated into the design process in the aerospace industry. Automotive Major automobile manufacturing companies and those that supply parts. CFD also plays a role in heat transfer analysis of space systems. CFD and FEA analysis techniques are widely used to obtain quick solutions to problems and to evaluate design changes. micro-convection. The initial hurdle of 'acceptance' does not exist in this industry. Limited application work is carried out for analysis of IC engines. design of re-entry and high Mach number systems. Chemical process industry can be further classified into various sub-industrial sectors as follows: Oil & Gas Chemicals Plastics and Fibers Consumer and health-care products Pharmaceuticals Food Water Metals Mining Fertilizers 22 . Leading edge applications in this industry include under-hood flow/heat transfer and simulation of combustion in IC engines. CFD is also applied for analysis of catalytic convertors. for example. valve design and heat exchanger analysis. diffusers and combustion chambers. multiphase flows and microgravity effects. These systems typically involve complex flow physics such as radiative heat transfer. Design time scales in the automotive industry are very tight. In many cases CFD is the only solution to a problem. turbines. Flow problems related to under-hood cooling are complex and difficult. duct work and under-hood flows. Chemical Process Industry (CPI) Any industry that is involved in the business of processing raw materials for the production of chemicals is classified as CPI. design of blowers. nozzles. CFD activity is not restricted to ‘CFD experts’ only. Leading-edge applications in this industry include full aircraft performance simulations and full engine performance simulations.

Process and product development are often initiated simultaneously. These companies have a core group of CFD experts engaged in CFD activity on a full-time basis (similar to the Aerospace industry. Unit operations in the hydrocarbon process industry handle large amounts of fluid. as a result. furnaces. Hence. A CFD solution is very often augmented by additional calculations and engineering judgement. a document highlighting plans for the chemical process industries for the next 20 years has identified three enabling technologies. To meet these goals. The flow field involved is very complex and conventional methods of analysis are not adequate. mass transfer. small increments in efficiency lead to large increments in product cost savings. The traditional approach of taking a product from laboratory scale to pilot plants and then to production is no longer attractive. There has been a general thrust to reduce waste and improve efficiency of processes in general. The integration of CFD methods will lead to shortened product-process development cycles. The chemical process industry involves a wide variety of process equipment and a process unit is required to perform a wide variety of duties. Some of the larger CP companies have embraced CFD as a viable technology and derived tremendous benefits through its application. The flow fields are in general very complex. Technology Vision 2020. Computational fluid dynamics provides a viable tool for analysis and trouble shooting of such equipment. It is thus essential for not only the research and development staff in the hydrocarbon process industry but also for plant managers and production managers to understand the benefits of CFD so that it can be integrated into the development process. Applications in the CPI are very complex and cannot be tackled using an out-of-the-box CFD approach. Judicious simplification and careful examination of the solution process is required. stirred tank reactors. dryers and other equipment. The predominant forces of change include increased globalization of markets. Typical applications in this arena involve flows in mixing devices. even small improvements in efficiency and performance can result in a significant increase in revenue and savings in costs. demands for cleaner environment. reduced energy requirements and efficient design of new products and processes. as a result. filtration/separation devices. rapid prototyping and analysis is required. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is one such technology that is expected to lead process companies into the future. work is carried out using commercial CFD software). optimization of existing processes. As the process industries enter the 21st century they face new challenges. however. it becomes essential to predict its performance under a wide variety of operating conditions.Paper and Pulp Glass manufacturers The chemical process industry is quite vast and can be divided into various sub-sectors as outlined in the section above. Given the economics of most unit operations. A typical unit operation processes a large amount of fluid. higher customer expectations and increased profitability. involve multiple phases. To meet these challenges innovation is required at all phases of product development. heat transfer and very often 23 .

Eliminate plugging. burners. Identify and eliminate sources of erosion in transport of slurry. Take a ‘look-inside’ the process. The industrial sub-sectors as stated above differ in their core products and processes but the equipment (unit operation devices) applied is similar. • process heaters. Optimize stirred tank performance. 24 . jet • mixers. scrubbers. Mixing: Impact of CFD Examine performance of static mixers.reactions. Table 6-I summarizes the wide variety of process equipment in the chemical process industry that can benefit from CFD analysis. spilling. Reduced operating costs. bubble column. valves. Process Equipment • • Stirred tank reactors. Optimize and predict performance. gravity separators. • centrifuges. Predict shear distribution in stirred tank reactor. Improved catalyst utilization. Improve flame stability and burner efficiency. precipitators. manifolds. compressors. static mixers. sloshing. furnaces. • headers. Separation units: • • Heat exchangers. Control formation of pollutants. • Table 6-I: Impact of CFD on various processes in the chemical process industries. as a result. Minimize failure of heat-exchangers. Reactors: Auxiliary processes: Filling. • Fluid Transport devices: • • Pumps. packing. • • • Cyclones. flow distributors. Companies are in the process of diversifying their products. Improved heat-recovery. • Heat generation and heat transfer: • • • Packed bed. fluidized • bed. Evaluate design concepts. Minimize power requirements. Eliminate hot-spots in heaters. Scale-up/scale-down of reactors Establish envelope of performance. Careful simplification of the flow physics and multi-step solution process is required. Minimize waste. the same process equipment is called on to perform various tasks. emulsification units. boilers. Ensure uniform flow distribution.

suitable analysis tools are required. Manufacturing and polishing of silicon wafers is an important process for the electronics industry. electrostatic precipitators. Thermal power generation is normally achieved by combustion of coal in furnaces. CFD has been applied for this process.To meet the challenges associated with the operation of a wide variety of process equipment. Chemical vapor deposition is another area of great interest to the electronics industry. thermal power generation industries and water (hydro) power generation industries. more adequate techniques of trouble shooting are required so that downtime can be minimized. Hydro-power generation involves generation of electricity from water. CFD is also applied for analysis of micro-electronic devices involving fluid flow and heat transfer such as ink jet printer nozzles. The main emphasis here is increased efficiency and lower levels of pollutants. silicon wafers suppliers fall under this category. 25 . CFD has been accepted as a viable tool for the analysis of process equipment. Electroforming. While measurement probes provide point data. Hence. The flow fields involved in the chemical process equipment are very complex and conventional methods of analysis are not adequate. diffusers. very often full-field data or data at multiple locations is required to fully diagnose a problem. inlet vanes and other auxiliary devices associated with these units. Power Generation Traditionally this industrial sector refers to those industries engaged in the business of generating thermal and hydro electricity. energy generated in the furnace is used to produce steam for turbines which are coupled to electric generators. Fuel cells are also part of this industrial segment. This industry can be divided into two main sub-sectors viz. burners. coal mills and particle classifiers. The flow physics associated with applications in the power generation industry is quite complex. Electronics Electronic device manufacturing companies such as printer manufacturers. duct-work. CFD has been applied for analysis of water turbines. computer hardware manufacturers. Trouble shooting as well as improvements in efficiency and performance are typically achieved by trial and error based on past experience. CFD has been applied for analysis of furnaces. Failure of a process equipment can result in undesirable downtime and loss of revenue. Experimental measurement is not always possible. This thrust has given rise to enhanced combustion models and pollutant prediction models in commercial CFD software. electroplating are some of the other processes analyzed using CFD.

Fuel cells as an energy source is an emerging technology. The flow physics involved is very complex and CFD is accepted as a technology that can provide insight into design configurations and optimization. CFD software has the capability to analyze the complex physics associated with this technology. 26 .

0 CFD Applications.1. The velocity and pressure distribution are depicted in Figure 7. 27 .2: Mesh near surface of airfoil. is required to accurately compute the flow solution.1.1.4. Fine mesh near surface Gradually expanding surface mesh Figure 7.3 and Figure 7. the boundary conditions are depicted in Figure 7. Far field boundary (pressure specified) Inflow (velocity specified) Outflow (pressure specified) Surface of airfoil (specified as a solid wall) Far field boundary (pressure specified) Figure 7.1. boundary conditions.1. A boundary layer mesh depicted in Figure 7. Part-I 7.1: Flow over an airfoil.1 External aerodynamics : The flow over an airfoil is computed.

Suction (low pressure) on upper surface Figure 7.4: Pressure (Pa) distribution. 28 .1.1.Higher velocity on upper surface Lower velocity on lower surface Figure 7.3: Velocity (m/s) distribution.

2. The basic arrangement is depicted in Figure the fluid from the sidestream lies towards the lower section of the main pipe indicating poor mixing.1: T-junction. Side-stream fluid injection Main stream fluid Mixing zone Figure 7.2 Internal flow computations: The mixing of two streams in a T-junction is studied using CFD methods. The concentration of the side-stream for the configuration with a mixing element is depicted in Figure 7. The mixing is studied by examining the concentration of the side-stream. Red color denotes 100% concentration of side stream fluid Blue color denotes 100% concentration of main stream fluid Figure 7.2.2: Mixing behavior in a T-junction.7. As depicted in Figure 29 .2. The mixing behavior is improved by placing a mixing element in the T-junction as depicted in Figure 7.

2.2.3: T-junction with mixing element.4: Concentration of side-stream fluid in T-junction with a mixing element.Mixing element Figure 7. 30 . Dispersion of side-stream due to mixing element resulting in improved mixing Red color denotes 100% concentration of side stream fluid Blue color denotes 100% concentration of main stream fluid Figure 7.

3 Compressible flow computations: The compressible flow of a gas in a converging-diverging nozzle depicted in Figure 7. The velocity distribution is depicted in Figure 7.2: Velocity (m/s)distribution in the nozzle. The flow continues to accelerate to supersonic conditions in the diverging portion of the nozzle and decelerates to subsonic conditions through a shock-wave. 31 . The pressure distribution is depicted in Figure 7.1: Compressible flow in a converging-diverging nozzle. Inflow (Total pressure specified) Outflow (Static pressure specified) Figure 7. The Mach number distribution shows acceleration to sonic velocity at the throat.3.1 is computed.3. The total supply pressure at the inlet and the static pressure at the outlet are specified.2. High velocity region Figure 7. The location of the sonic regions and the shock wave are depicted in Figure 7. Higher order differencing schemes are applied to capture the discontinuities such as shock-wave in the flow.4.3.3.

5: Pressure (Pa) distribution in the nozzle.3: Mach number distribution in the nozzle.3. 32 .Sonic region at throat Supersonic region (ahead of shock wave) Subsonic region (behind shock wave) Figure 7.4: Location of sonic regions in the nozzle. Sonic line at shock wave Sonic region at throat Figure 7.3. Low pressure due to supersonic expansion in the diverging portion High pressure region behind shock wave Figure 7.3.

7.4 Buoyancy driven flows: The natural convection currents around a heated pin are simulated. The surface of the pin depicted in Figure 7.4.1 is maintained at a higher temperature than the surrounding air. Buoyancy driven flows are normally unstable and exhibit unsteady behavior. In this case, the plume of hot air rising from the pin sways from one-side to the other as depicted in Figure 7.4.2. The temperature distribution is depicted in Figure 7.4.3.

Open top

Side wall Side wall

Heated pin Bottom wall Bottom wall

Figure 7.4.1: Natural convection around a heated pin.
Region of high velocity in the center of the plume

Swaying of the plume from side-to-side is observed Red color denotes a speed of .74 m/s and blue color denotes are region of zero speed.

Figure 7.4.2: Natural convection velocity distribution (m/s) around the pin.


Swaying of the plume from side-to-side is observed (plume orientation at two different time instants)

Figure 7.4.3: Temperature (K) around the pin.


7.5 CFD for fluid transport devices: CFD methods have been applied for analysis and performance prediction of fluid transport devices such as pumps, compressors and fans. Pumps are commonly employed in the process industries for transport of fluids. Increasing demands for greater productivity very often calls for the same pump to handle different fluids. In the following study CFD techniques are employed to predict pump performance under different operating conditions. Typical flow field is depicted in Figures 7.5.1a and 7.5.1b. The accuracy of CFD solution is demonstrated through detailed comparison with experimental data as shown in Figure 7.5.2.

Figure 7.5.1a: Pump, velocity distribution
12.0 Pressure Rise (inches H O) 10.0 8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 CFD Results Data

Figure 7.5.1b: Pump, streak lines







Flow Rate (gpm)

Figure 7.5.2: Pump performance curve, comparison of CFD results with experimental. CFD is applied to study the flow behavior in a reciprocating pump; a schematic is depicted in Figure 7.5.3. Design changes to eliminate cavitation are explored. As a first step, flow behavior in the existing design is examined. Cavitation occurs during the suction cycle when the fluid is rapidly drawn into the pump. An analysis representing a snap shot of the flow behavior at the instant when the piston suction velocity is highest is carried out. The velocity field in Figure 7.5.4 depicts the flow behavior in the interior of the pump. The incoming fluid impinges on the wall near the discharge port of the pump.


The inlet port of the pump is altered. These are the regions where cavitation occurs. The vortical flow pattern within the pump chamber is eliminated as depicted in Figure 7.The suction created by the retreating piston creates a helical flow pattern in the chamber as depicted by stream-lines in Figure 7. 36 .5.5. This leads to the generation of strong vortices in the pump chamber.3: Schematic of pump layout. Design changes to alter the flow pattern and hence eliminate cavitation are explored. Design changes to alter the flow pattern and eliminate cavitation were carried out in a virtual environment Reciprocating piston Pump chamber Inlet port Outlet port Figure 7. The pressure plot in Figure 7.8. red denotes high pressure areas and blue low pressure.6 depicts the low-pressure regions associated with the vortices.9 indicate that overall pressure within the chamber is well above the cavitation limit.5. The pressure profiles in Figure 7.7 and Figure 7. a wider inlet port is used.

5.5: Path lines in pump chamber.4: Velocity field existing design. Helical flow path lines Figure 7.5. 37 .Vortices Vortices Figure 7.

Low pressure regions Figure 7.5. 38 .8: Path lines in pump chamber. Figure 7. Figure 7.7: Velocity field in modified design.6: Pressure distribution in pump chamber.5.5.

Pneumatic transport of products in the form of a powder or a liquid slurry is very common in the process industry. Figure 7.5.10a: Pneumatic conveying.10b depict particle paths for heavy and light particles in a pneumatic conveyer junction.10b: Pneumatic conveying. Figures 7. Heavy particles impact the walls of the junction thereby increasing the risk of erosion. heavy particle tracks 39 .5. Transfer of catalysts between regenerator and reactor under fluidized conditions is a common pneumatic solids transport process.Figure 7. Granular solids of free-flowing natures may be conveyed through ducts with high velocity streams. The performance of pneumatic conveyors is sensitive to several characteristics of the solids such as bulk density and particle size distribution.5. Pressure drop. grains and powders of all kinds. plastics. Erosion caused by particle impact is an area of concern. light particle tracks Figure 7.5.10a and 7. Air-conveyed materials include chemicals.5. power requirements are key indicators of performance.9: Pressure distribution in pump chamber. pellets.

6.2: Butterfly valve.1.6 Flow in a valve: CFD methods are applied to study the flow behavior in valves and compute valve performance parameters such as flow coefficient. Pressure @ 0 Degrees Pressure @ 45 Degrees 1. Water-hammer profile 40 . CFD methods are also employed to derive input information for other solution tools.6.6. The resulting waterhammer pressure profile is depicted in Figure 7. CFD techniques are employed to obtain pressure distribution and flow characteristics of a butterfly valve at various valve openings.1: Butterfly valve.2 0 0.8 1 TIME (seconds) Figure 7.5 Relative Head at Valve Valve Position Pressure @ 85 Degrees Figure 7. pressure distribution for various positions 1 Relative head at valve 0.5 0 -0. The discharge coefficient vs angle computed using the CFD model is applied as input to a waterhammer calculation tool. The valve positions and flow behavior are depicted in Figure 7.7.4 0.5 -1 0.6 0.

Correlation (Btu/hr/ft^2-F) Tube 1 HTC . it is essential for this equipment to perform as reliably as possible. High process temperatures are achieved by direct transfer of heat from the products of combustion of fuels. Figure 7.7. Comparison of CFD results with experimental data is depicted in Figure 7. The combustion process and heat transfer within direct-fired heaters are very complex. inadequate heating can lead to lower process fluid temperatures and inefficiencies.7.7.7. Heat is released by the process of combustion which is transferred to fluids inside tubes which are arranged along the walls and roof of the combustion chamber.CFD Core Tube HTC . Formation of pollutants such as NOx can be reduced using design guidance provided by CFD simulations. This is a very common configuration in heat exchangers. Simple methods are inadequate to analyze and predict performance.Correlation Core Tube HTC . on the other hand.7 Flow and heat transfer: CFD for Heat generation and heat transfer equipment: Heat transfer equipment such as heat exchangers are employed throughout a chemical processing plant.7. Experimental 41 .1b. Small increments in improved efficiency can result in significant reduction of operating cost and increased revenues. The two major types of heaters are direct-fired or indirect-fired. If the heating is not uniform then hot-spots may occur leading to failure. Failure of this equipment can lead to downtime and significant loss of revenue. 2x2 Tube Bundle Heat Transfer Coefficients 70 Tube 1 HTC .1a shows the temperature distribution over an array of cylinder in cross flow. Hence. Inefficiencies associated with heat transfer equipment directly influence production cost.1b: Comparison of CFD results with data Process heaters of various types are employed for endothermic reactions. pyrolysis-type of processes.Correlation Tube 1 HTC . Direct-fired heaters are typically employed for hydrocarbon reforming.CFD 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Inlet Velocity (ft/s) Figure 7. Tubes containing the process fluid are subject to combustion process gases and high temperatures. temperature distribution Figure 7. CFD techniques can provide an insight into the function of these devices and can help identify areas for improvement.1a: Heat exchanger.

temperature distribution.2: Process heater. However. indicating that a heat recovery unit downstream of the primary heater may need to be installed to recover waste heat. Computational methods such as CFD present a viable approach for analysis of such equipment. red regions denote high temperature and blue regions correspond to low temperature. 42 . the exhaust gas temperature is high. Figure 7. It is observed that the heat transfer to the tubes is quite uniform. A vertical-cylindrical radiant process heater is modeled. Firing of fuel is vertical from the floor. Heat transfer to the process tube and uniformity of the temperature field are examined and depicted in Figure 7.2. The combustion process and heat transfer in a direct-fired heater are modeled using computational fluid dynamics.measurements are difficult and even impossible. The tubes containing the process fluid are arranged helically as a coil along the walls of the combustion chamber.7.7.

Stirred tank reactors are very commonly used in the chemical process industries for a wide range of duties. these correlations are unable to predict the performance accurately and are very often based on the assumption of linear superposition of data. CFD methods can also be applied to predict shear stress distribution within a stirred vessel. The radial flow field generated by the impellers leads to formation of four torroidal re-circulation regions. mixing characteristics and hence product quality and efficiency. More importantly. baffled tank with dual 4-bladed Rushton impellers is modeled. This is important for dissolution. a diverging flow pattern as depicted in Figure 8. the lower impeller pumps downward and the upper impeller continues to pump radially outwards.8.1 CFD for mixing applications: Mixing processes form the heart of the chemical process industries. Part-II 8. Stirred vessels come in various shapes. sizes and are equipped with many different types of impellers. it is essential to ensure efficient operation of the vessel for a given duty. Single-phase flow in a flat-bottom.1. If the impellers are placed closer to each other. Impeller performance and flow field characteristics can be successfully predicted using CFD methods. In this case. The upper impeller pumps downward and the lower impeller pumps upwards. Shear stress 43 . Impeller-impeller interaction is a strong non-linear effect and cannot be predicted by simple empirical correlations. Very often the same vessel is required to perform various duties and it is essential for engineers to ensure that adequate shaft power is available to perform the mixing duty.1c is generated. However.1a shows properly placed impellers in the vessel. Figure 8. The impellers in this case operate with little if any interaction between them. Rushton impellers are typically employed to generate radial flow. a converging flow pattern is generated.0 CFD Applications. The primary function of these vessels is to provide adequate stirring and mixing of a mixture. This has a strong effect on vessel performance. This is depicted in Figure 8.1. The degree of mixing required and the equipment applied depends on the actual application. Empirical correlations for estimating vessel performance exist. Static mixers for fluid-fluid mixing and stirred tanks are by far the most commonly applied units for mixing. The mixing characteristics influence the product quality and efficiency of the process to a great degree. if the impellers are placed further apart. it may involve mixing of two or more different fluids with or without chemical reactions. However. emulsification and dispersion. This is very often accomplished by placing the impellers in the vessel at various locations. Changes in impeller position lead to a drastic change in the flow pattern. Mixing may involve blending of two streams of the same fluid but at different temperatures (thermal mixing) or. CFD methods are employed to analyze the flow field and study vessel flow characteristics.1b.1. The following study examines the influence of impeller location on the flow field. CFD provides a viable method to analyze and optimize stirred tank performance.

Figure 8.2 depicts the mixing of two fluids in a static mixer.2: Mixing of fluids in a static mixer. closely placed impellers Figure Stirred tank. radially pumping impellers Figure 8.1.1. Figure 8.1c: Stirred tank.1a: Stirred tank. impellers too far apart CFD is also applied to study the flow behavior in static mixers.1.distribution is also important for biomedical applications where excessive shear may lead to damage of product and loss of efficacy. Static mixer design and element shape and size can be optimized using CFD methods. Helical ribbons for mixing The fluid streams are colored red and blue Figure 8. 44 .

2 CFD for multiphase flow: Flow fields in the chemical process unit operations are complex and often involve multiphase flows. 45 . Multi-fluid flow also referred to as multiphase flows are complex in nature and difficult to measure and analyze.8. the drops exchange mass. In this section the benefits derived from CFD study of a spray dryer are discussed. An Eulerian-Lagrangian model is applied to simulate the flow field in the spray dryer. The velocity field is skewed towards the wall. This is a result of non-uniform pressure distribution in the air dispersing head. CFD results can provide the necessary confidence that the proposed modifications will work before capital equipment is ordered and fieldtesting scheduled. CFD Study of Spray Dryer: Drying equipment is usually large and expensive. Different combinations of axial and swirling airflows are modeled. efficiency is an important factor that influences production and operation cost. The CFD results are applied to guide changes in the geometry and process parameters necessary to improve product quality. Figure 8. A tall-form powdered milk spray dryer is analyzed. The spray drops are simulated using a discrete particle model. The risk of lost profit during changeover (especially if the improvement did not materialize) is minimized. By changing the vane angles of the air disperser along with nozzle spray patterns it is possible to create optimum conditions within the dryer thus yielding a product with desirable qualities and reducing powder buildup on the dryer walls. momentum and energy with the continuous phase. CFD is used to analyze the performance of a tall-form powdered milk industrial spray dryer in advance of making major structural changes to the dryer. As a result. CFD is applied to examine configuration changes and thus minimize risk and avoid unnecessary downtime during testing. The gas phase is simulated using an Eulerian formulation. In this case. A full description of multiphase flow modeling methods is provided in Appendix A.2.1 depicts the velocity field in the dryer. Full coupling between the phases is required to produce an accurate simulate.

46 . CFD techniques are employed to perform ‘what-if’ analysis for optimization of the design. showing a marked fall-off in separation efficiency between 1 µ m and 10 µ m size particles. The gas phase is simulated using an Eulerian formulation.Skewed velocity field Figure 8. velocity field CFD Study of Cyclone: In this study CFD solutions are applied to optimize and predict performance of an existing cyclone design.2b depict particle paths for various particle sizes. The particles are simulated using a discrete particle model.1: Spray dryer. Eulerian-Lagrangian model is applied to simulate the flow field.2. Separation efficiency for different particle sizes is examined. the particles exchange momentum with the continuous phase. Momentum coupling between the two phases is included. Figures 8. The results agree well with tests. In this case.2a and 8.2.2.

Strong splash.3b: Filling process.2. Red color denotes liquid and blue gas. free surface location.Figure 8. A number of filling profiles are examined to minimize splashing.2. Red color denotes liquid and blue air Smooth filling Splashing of liquid on sides Figure 8. 47 .2. No splash. path line of 1micron particle Figure 8.2. path line of 10 micron particle CFD Study of Filling: CFD is used to simulate the filling process of containers. Free surface shape and location at the start of filling cycle is depicted in Figure 8. Inertial effects dominate and surface tension force effects are negligible. a surface tension model is not included. therefore. An Eulerian-Eulerian Volume of Fluid (VOF) model is applied. The free surface is tracked at various time instants and filling profile adjusted to eliminate splashing of fluid.2b: Cyclone. Figure 8.3a: Filling process.3b. free surface location. This study involves free surface tracking so a volume of fluid method is applied to track the free surface.3a and Figure 8.2. A number of ‘virtual experiments’ are conducted to optimize the filling process.2a: Cyclone.2.

The inertial forces associated with such flow fields are small and surface tension effects dominate. At this stage.2. Liquid is injected through an injection tube.2.CFD Study of Drop Injection: Drop and bubble formation are studied to establish injection characteristics and understand sparger behavior. the fluid column is no longer able to hold the ejected fluid in place and it breaks from the nozzle forming a drop as depicted in Figure 8.2. In this study.2.4b. size and frequency of drop formation are examined.4a. an EulerianEulerian homogenous flow model is applied to study drop formation from a nozzle.4c: Drop formation 48 .4c. Shape. the injected fluid initially collects at the nozzle tip as depicted in Figure 8. Figure 8.4a: Initial collection of fluid at nozzle tip Figure 8.4b: Necking of injected fluid Figure 8.2. As the fluid bubble grows in size the gravitational force becomes large and necking of fluid takes place as depicted in Figure 8.2.

CFD Study of Centrifuge Separation: Industrial centrifuges are widely used in the process industries for separation of solids from liquids and liquid-liquid separation. The solution is computed in a rotating frame of reference. centrifuge separation devices can be effectively employed under these conditions.2. This is achieved by improvements in existing design as well as developing new ones.2. Heavy Fluid Outlet Light fluid outlet Concentrate outlet Concentrate outlet Inlet Figure 8.2.5a are examined using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).5c. Figures 8. Next.5a: Centrifuge configuration 49 .5b depict material density at two different time instants. Centrifuge separators are required to provide better separation quality materials at lower operating costs. This minimized slugging and a near steady flow field is observed as shown in Figure 8. the concentrate outlet port (side port) was closed.5a and 8. this situation is undesirable. As part of design change investigations.2. In general. A drift-flux model is applied to simulate the flow field. centrifuges are used for thickening. In the present study. then gravitational separation is no longer effective.2. This resulted in high density liquid exiting the low density port. design modification to a centrifuge shown in Figure 8. The original design results in slugging of material. This behavior is characterized by the transient flow field observed during the simulations. If the density of the two fluids is similar. separation and post-treatment. the side port opening was reduced.

2. Figure 8. Figure 8.5b: Fluid density (original design) (modified design) Figure 8. (Courtesy of AEA Technology) 50 . gas-liquid flow in an airlift loop reactor is simulated using an Eulerian-Eulerian two phase flow model.2.2.6: Gas flow distribution. CFD solution is used to predict the bubble distribution in the reactor so that design changes to improve efficacy of the process can be planned. The bubbles are modeled as a dispersed phase and the liquid is treated as a continuous phase.5c: Fluid density CFD simulation of bubble column reactor: Bubble columns reactors are used for contact operations involving gas and liquid.2. In the present study.Figure 8. The flow field within such reactors is very complex.6 depicts the gas phase distribution and liquid phase velocity field in the reactor.

The solid phase is treated as a dispersed phase. with the advent of faster computers and parallel processing capability simulation of gas-solid flows in complex reactors can become a reality. Simulations of gas-solid flows in complex three-dimensional reactors can take months of computational time and are not practically feasible.7 depicts gas flow progression through a FCC riser.2. Figure 8. A solids pressure model is included to account for particle-particle interaction. 51 . these calculations can be very time intensive. Pneumatic transport of solids. catalytic cracking are some examples of such flows. (Courtesy of AEA Technology) Flow fields in the chemical process unit operations are complex and often involve multiphase flows.CFD study of gas-solid flow in a fluidized catalytic cracking unit : gas-solid flows are very commonly observed in chemical process industries. In the petrochemical industries. Analysis of multi-fluid or multiphase handling devices is not easy. conventional methods are inadequate and experimental measurement is difficult if not impossible. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been identified as a viable tool for analysis of such devices and associated flow fields. The flow field is simulated using an Eulerian-Eulerian model. fluidized bed reactors are employed for catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons. Simulation of such a flow field requires unsteady flow calculations. However. Small time increments are required to simulate such flow fields. Figure 8. CFD is applied to study the flow field in devices such as a FCC is unsteady and chaotic.7: Gas flow progression in a fluidized bed riser.2. as a result.

These mechanisms are not very reliable and accurate prediction of absolute quantities of pollutants is difficult. Fire-tube boilers are those where combustion takes place inside tubes and steam is generated on the outside. However. analysis and troubleshooting of combustion systems. classifiers. water passing through tubes is heated using combustion gases. Computational models that account for thermal. Combustion models that appropriately account for the above effects have been developed. These are available in a wide range of capacities. precipitators and scrubbers. oil or pulverized coal as fuel. heating or process consumption. The combustion process is completed in the furnace section of the boiler. heaters and reformers.3 Application of CFD to combustion systems: CFD techniques can be applied for design. loss of efficiency and non-uniform flow distribution can be examined. There are two main types of boilers. Burners of various types are employed to inject. An appropriate radiation model must be included when simulating combustion systems.000 lbs/hr of steam. The convective section consists of tube banks and heating of fluid in the tubes is accomplished by passing hot combustion products through the tube bank. steam is generated in this section by radiant heating of the tubes. high stack temperature. oil and gas) to steam for power generation. In such cases interaction between the gas phase and the particulate phase plays an important role. The radiant section of a furnace is lined with water-tubes.000 lbs/hr to as high as 9. These units typically employ natural gas. furnaces. heat is extracted in the radiant and convection section of a furnace. flame impingement. non-uniform temperatures. Problems associated with high excess air. Soot and NOx formation are modeled using semi-empirical mechanisms. these are more commonly used. the models can be applied for relative comparison of designs and also to predict trends. Combustion systems involve high temperatures. A water-tube boiler consists of various components such as burners and heater tubes. prompt and fuel NOx have been developed. ranging from 5.000. These physical processes are tightly coupled to each other. These methods can also be applied for the analysis of auxiliary components such as wind-boxes. These are typically used in small package-boilers and also in waste-heat recovery units that operate at medium or low-pressures. fuel is injected in the form of particles or droplets. thermal field. Combustion Modeling Combustion is the process by which heat is rapidly released by oxidation of a fuel. At these temperatures heat transfer by radiation plays an important role. This section is 52 . The main products of combustion are carbon dioxide and water vapor. boilers. CFD techniques provide an insight into combustion systems such as burners. mix and burn fuel and oxidant. turbulence interactions. The other types are water-tube boilers. Combustion is a very complex physical process involving strong interactions between the aerodynamic field. mixing and chemical kinetics.8. In these units. In many cases. CFD for Boilers: Boilers are used to convert energy in conventional fuels (coal.

Pulverized coal is mixed with air and burnt in the furnace section of the boiler. This is the region where boiler tubes are most likely to fail. This generates a vortex in the core of the furnace.3. Coal-fired furnaces employ pulverized coal as the fuel.3. CFD methods can be applied to examine and study complex flow behavior. In a cyclone furnace. The velocity field in Figure 8.1 is analyzed. Air heaters are employed to further extract heat form the gas before discharging to stacks. Uniform gas flow and temperatures are desired in the convective section of the furnace. This unit extracts heat from the moderate temperature gases leaving the superheater section. In wall-fired furnaces. Many boilers also include an economizer unit. This chamber also retains most of the coal ash and slag.4 depicts a low velocity region near the outer surface of the radiant section.2 and consists of a fuel lance. Design changes to induce a more uniform temperature field in the convective section of the furnace can be explored using CFD methods. Burners are located on the boiler corners and fire towards the axis of the furnace. and heat transfer. CFD modeling of package gas-fired boiler: A gas-fired boiler as shown in Figure 8.3. The flow field within boilers is very complex and involves interaction between many variables such as fuel characteristics. The burner is shown in Figure 8. This heat is recycled to the furnace with combustion air. This region acts as a flame stabilizer and is the primary combustion zone in the furnace. The swirl imparted by the vanes stabilizes the flame. Cyclone furnaces differ from the conventional T-fired or wall-fired furnaces. Residence of coal is increased by generating highly swirling flow in the chamber. firing systems. Various configurations of coal-fired furnaces exist. 53 . Nonuniformities can result in hot-spots and excessive metal temperatures in the boiler tubes. the temperatures in this region are acceptable. Tangentially-fired or T-fired furnaces are more common. However.3. combustion takes place in this region. Swirl imparted by the burner to the secondary stream of air creates a recirculation zone in front of the burner. resulting in failure. swirl-type burners are located on one of the vertical walls of the furnace.also referred to as the superheater section and generates high-pressure steam. coal devolatilization and char oxidation occurs in a separate cyclone-type chamber. Coal requiring high residence times and higher temperatures is burnt in down-fired furnaces.3 depicts the high temperature region in the convective section of the furnace chamber. In this case the burners are located on horizontal walls in the furnace and fire downwards. The oxidant is introduced through the annular space and passes through a set of swirl-vanes. The temperature plot in Figure 8. The furnace enclosure is one of the most critical components of a boiler.

54 .1: Boiler layout. Swirl vanes Fuel Lance Figure Boiler configuration.Boiler tubes section Burner Radiant section Figure 8.

3: Temperature distribution in boiler (temperatures in oK). Minimization of unburned combustible loss in the fly ash from pulverized coal-firing units.4: Velocity distribution in boiler (velocity in m/sec) Application of CFD for coal-fired furnace: Coal-fired furnaces are employed by utilities for power generation. slag formation and deposition are other issues that affect the performance of such 55 .3.Figure 8. Figure 8. Uniform flow and temperatures are desired in the furnace.3.

the swirling motion of the gas helps in flame stabilization and increases heat transfer to the furnace walls. 56 .3.5: Coal-fired furnace. Design changes to improve unit performance and NOx reduction can be explored using CFD methods.3.3.devices. NOx formation and unburnt carbon have an environmental impact. most of the particles are carried away by the flue gas. Figure 8. Figure 8.5 is analyzed.7 depicts the velocity field in the furnace. These aspects can be examined using CFD methods. The results indicate that very few coal particles settle at the bottom and contribute to slag formation.3. A coal-fired unit as shown in Figure 8. The burners are arranged at three elevations in the unit.6 shows the path of coal particles in the furnace. Coal inlets shown in red Secondary air inlets in green. Figure 8.

3. Figure 8. shape and size can influence the process.Figure 8.6: Coal particle path-lines in furnace.3. If the flame is too long it can impinge on critical regions of the apparatus and cause thermal damage. power plant or furnace. Flame length.7: Velocity field in furnace. If it is too short it may wear out the burner 57 . CFD for Burner analysis: Flame stability and burner efficiency are very critical to the proper functioning of a process heater.

3. Figure 8. Introduction of a disk at the lance tip to inject fuel gas through a conical slot results in a much shorter flame and desirable characteristics. The placement of burners for optimum furnace. The flame length. boiler or process heater performance can be examined through CFD analysis. 58 . Fuel gas is injected axially.8: Fuel lance without tip modification.8 and 8. Appropriate burner configurations can be arrived at through CFD. Natural gas burner: In the present study a natural gas burner is modified.3. The fuel lance tip is modified. Replacement of the burner or associated apparatus results in downtime and loss of revenue. shape and size are examined for two burner configurations. shape and size.3. Performance of retrofitted burners for low NOx can be evaluated using CFD before actually installing such a unit. Computational fluid dynamics modeling methods can be applied to gain insight into flame characteristics. results are depicted in Figures 8.9. In this case fuel injection lance modifications are examined to study the effect on flame length.tip.

CFD for auxiliary components: A power plant consists of various flow-carrying devices.9: Fuel lance modified . Figure 8.10 depicts the air-flow distribution in a power-plant ductwork.Figure 8. Dampers and flow deflectors can be included to introduce even flow distribution. 59 .3. CFD analysis of flow distribution in ducts: CFD techniques can be applied to achieve proper flow distribution. The performance of a boiler or a furnace is greatly influenced by proper functioning of auxiliary components such as a windbox and the associated ductwork.3. Flow rates through the various branches of the ductwork are computed. fuel gas injected through an conical slot.

Effective performance of an ESP requires uniform flow in the diffuser section. These devices are several meters in size and are difficult to prototype. Expensive experimental setups may be constructed to study the flow fields in such devices.3. The other option is numerical simulation of such flow fields. improving the performance and also for rapid prototyping.Figure 8.3. Electrostatic precipitators (ESP) are very effective in the removal of fine mists and fine particles from gas streams.10: Velocity distribution in air-flow ducts in a power-plant (velocity in m/sec). A typical electrostatic precipitator is comprised of ductwork and a diffuser section.11. Atmospheric dust concentration measurement is also achieved by employing electrostatic precipitators. various splitter plate configurations were examined. 60 . Electrostatically charged filters are located in the diffuser section. The upstream ductwork can have a significant impact on the flow entering the diffuser and hence its effectiveness and performance. The original design employs a grid type distributor plate. CFD methods are routinely employed to examine ESP performance. CFD methods can be rapidly applied to examine the effect of various geometric and flow parameters on the overall flow behavior in an ESP. These techniques can be applied for troubleshooting. A grid employing three vertical and three horizontally placed splitter plates produced the best results. The flow entering the diffuser is not uniformly distributed and continues as a jet in the core of the diffuser section. The velocity field is depicted in Figure 8.12.3. CFD is applied to examine the effect of various distributor plate configurations on the uniformity of flow entering the diffuser section of an ESP. This option is relatively inexpensive and can be completed on a smaller time scale. This leads to a large recirculation region in the ESP as depicted in Figure 8. In the following study. CFD based optimization of an electrostatic precipitator: CFD methods can also be applied to optimize and enhance performance of flow separation devices such as precipitators and scrubbers. In an attempt to introduce more uniform flow in the diffuser.

These are pre-combustion control techniques and post-combustion treatment.3. smog and acid rain. CFD for NOx reduction: Emission control is a key issue for industries engaged in utilization of combustion systems.13 depicts NOx distribution (ppm) in a gas-fired package boiler. Figure 8. 61 .3. Figure 8.12: Velocity field in modified ESP design (velocity in m/sec).11: Velocity distribution in original ESP design (velocity in m/sec).Figure 8. These pollutants lead to the formation of ozone. Two major approaches are adopted for NOx reduction. Higher NOx concentration is observed in the fuel rich region.3. NOx or oxides of Nitrogen have an adverse effect on the environment.

13: NOx distribution (parts per million) in a package boiler. SNCR methods can reduce NOx by about 45%. whereas SCR techniques can reduced NOx by 70%.3. deployment of low NOx burners. temperature reduction. CFD techniques can be employed to identify the most promising concept and reduce the number of iterations with trial-and-error methods. Catalyst utilization in SCR reactors can be maximized to reduce operating costs. This is achieved by low excess air. SCR process consists of injecting ammonia into the boiler flue gas and passing the flue gas through a catalyst bed where NOx reacts with ammonia. flue gas recirculation. Injection and mixing of ammonia in the flue gas can be optimized using CFD methods. The design of this can be achieved using CFD methods. reburn.Pre-combustion NOx control methods reduce the formation of NOx by modification of combustion conditions. CFD methods can be employed to optimize flow distribution within the SCR reactor. The design and conceptual testing of low NOx concepts can be achieved using CFD methods. space is limited and the duct work required to distribute flow in the SCR reactor is complex. oxygas combustion. staged combustion. Figure 8. SCR reactors are installed between the boiler and air heater. Post-combustion NOx reduction methods involve removal of NOx from the flue gas using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR). A properly designed system can result in reduced ammonia slip. 62 .

however. A number of commercial CFD software packages are available. heat transfer. the basic principles and steps involved in performing a CFD analysis is the same. feel. In general CFD methods are applied to understand the overall flow and heat transfer behavior. CFD applications to a number of unit operations and processes in the chemical process industries. CFD can be used to dramatically reduce the number of iterations required in the typical design cycle. These general-purpose CFD software packages can be applied to simulate fluid flow. The process industries are now beginning to accept this technology. Unlike experimental methods. as a result. The number of processes that can be improved with the aid of CFD techniques are many. Applicability of CFD techniques for design. The potential for process improvements using CFD solutions is yet to be realized. The integration of CFD methods will lead to shortened product-process development cycles. oil and gas industry. chemical species transport and reactions for a wide variety of applications. CFD solvers are wrapped in a user-friendly graphical interface (GUI). . CFD solutions can help accomplish this. performance and accuracy may differ from one CFD package to another. The look. CFD provides an important new tool to the pump designer. it is yet to be fully integrated. A typical study is aimed at comparing and evaluating designs or concepts. It can be used to trouble-shoot existing designs and evaluate new design concepts in a ‘virtual environment’. small increments in efficiency lead to large increments in product cost savings. CFD provides full-field data. reduced energy requirements and efficient design of new products and processes. ‘What-if’ studies are performed to examine the influence of various parameters on flow behavior and hence performance. Aerospace and automobile industries have already integrated CFD methods into their design process. It is a tool that can provide substantial savings in both time and cost during the pump development cycle. Commercial CFD software has matured over the years.0 Future of CFD Technology Vision 2020 has identified CFD as a key technology that will enable the process industries meet challenges of the future. optimization of existing processes. However. CFD technology is widely accepted and applied within various industries.9. Unit operations in process industries handle large amounts of fluid. 63 . analysis and troubleshooting of pumps has been discussed.

9. mature. 64 . However. CAD information is readily useable for manufacturing but not for analysis. automatic-grid adaption. modify geometry and mesh with ease is a limitation of this technology. robust and highly evolved CFD technology. The ability to create. CAD plays a role when analysis and modification of existing designs is involved. coupled solver. Specific tools for specific industries are required.2 Next generation CFD: Commercial CFD software has evolved considerably during the past decade. In these industries. The supplied CAD requires substantial manipulation before an analysis package can use it. CAD data is uncommon in the CPI and power generation industries. Post-processing capability within CFD software has increased substantially. Specific knowledge related to these industries would be included in these tools. The automotive industry is CAD centric to a large degree. the utility of commercial CFD software has increased dramatically. However. which very often means merely the ability to read CAD. Commercial CFD software packages claim CAD compatability. Meshing techniques in CFD packages require modification so that CAD can be handled in a seamless manner . CFD solvers are more robust and require minimal user intervention. these are all enhancements that are confined to the traditional CFD approach and the underlying CFD paradigm.9. manipulate. CFD geometry models are created from existing paper drawings of process equipment. Models for complex physics have been included in CFD software. These enhancements are likely to reduce the time required for CFD analysis and expand the use of CFD marginally across to the non-expert user. These are tremendous enhancements to underlying CFD technology. These are again enhancements within the CFD paradigm. Geometry generation and mesh generation tools have become more intuitive and user-friendly in nature. Commercial CFD suppliers define the attributes of the next generation CFD software as having highly parallelized solver. As a result. Unstructured meshing has been a boon for modeling complex geometry. These tools would be built on the current. The pre-processors (geometry and mesh generation) supplied with CFD packages are not designed to handle CAD. Most often CAD supplied for analysis is originally generated for manufacturing and is not suitable for analysis.1 Limitation of CFD methods : The use of CAD for analysis is still a daunting task. etc. CAD data is rarely used during the evaluation of design concepts.

.B. Howard W. 1994. August 2001.0 References 1) Department of Energy (DOE).V. SES report March 2001.. mixing equipment and ultrasonic emulsification.S.S.A. 17) Turnis. P. 1970. Pordal. 6) H.J. Fry.K.J.M. H. 8) C.. M. Fry..J. Matice. Appliance engineer. R. Mc Graw Hill Series. Pumps.H. Matice.O.. Flow control magazine. T.. Mixing in the process industries. S. 1986. Computational fluid mechanics and heat transfer. November 1997.. Pordal. J. C. Using CFD models to simulate multiphase flow. High speed filling of plastic containers. Sams and Co. 7) H.J. Powders and bulk magazine. Technology Vision 2020: The U. T. Chemical Industry.. Fluid mixing and gas dispersion in agitated tanks. November 2001. 2001. R. Matice. 1998.S. Principles of combustion. An introduction to combustion.. SES review of liquid-liquid mixing. 1983... Hydrocarbon processing. SES review of mixing for scale-up and scale-down. January 2001. Mc Graw-Hill Inc. Fry. Appliance engineer magazine.S..J. C. CFD aids in the development of novel spray drying technology. 16) OIT. Pordal. Nienow. Matice. Edwards. E.J. Pletcher.. Fry.. November 2001. G.J.S. Chemical engineers’ handbook. 15) Tatterson.. D. Mc Graw Hill.. Luther. Green. 3) Patankar. Industrial combustion technology roadmap.R.J. Pordal. January 2001. 9) H. A.. SME.. 1998..C. T. 13) Harnby.. Matice..B.J. 10) H. 1992. 65 .J. 2) Perry. G. N. K. SES report November 2001.. Numerical heat transfer and fluid flow. Computational fluid dynamics: a key analytical tool. Hemisphere. 19) Black. Luther.. 20) Matice. C. D. Computer flow modeling for pump performance.F.. 12) C. 1984.. Mc Graw Hill. Pordal...J. 1991. 11) T. Scaleup and design of industrial mixing processes. Mc Graw-Hill Inc.H... Tannehill. 18) Kuo. M.. 1999. Computer flow modeling for pump performance.S. 5) C. Design of venturi mixers. Butterworth Heinemann.11. CFD Technology Roadmap. 1984.W. 4) Anderson.. Fry. 14) Tatterson. John Wiley and Sons. Chemical processing.. S. T.

the secondary phase is discontinuous and dispersed within the 66 . more adequate techniques of troubleshooting are required so that downtime can be minimized. For ease of discussion only two-phase flow systems will be discussed but the concepts and conclusions apply to systems having three or more phases as well. Conventional methods of analysis based on one-dimensional co-relations do not provide an adequate description of the flow field. Hence. solid. these depend on large number of correlations. Fluid transport equipment. and reactors are some of the unit operations that constitute a chemical processing plant. mixing and agitation equipment. However. separation devices. Troubleshooting as well as improvement in efficiency and performance is typically achieved by trial and error based on past experience. The term ‘phase’ is used in a much wider sense and does not necessarily refer to thermodynamic phases. This complexity arises partly due to the geometric complexity of the unit and partly due to the nature of the flow field itself. System models are one-dimensional in nature. Failure of chemical process equipment can result in undesirable downtime and loss of revenue. gas but refers to multiple fluids where the fluids are mixed at a macroscopic level. Scaling requirements are difficult to satisfy across a range of flow patterns. The flow through these units is very complex. Overall models of systems exist. system-specific and cannot be applied to general situations. dimensional analysis for multiphase flows is difficult and complex. Multi-fluid flows also referred to as multiphase flows are complex in nature and difficult to measure and analyze. very often full-field data or data at multiple locations is required to fully diagnose a problem. closure and constitutive relations. liquid. The flow field is often complicated by the presence of multiple fluids. viz. Continuous-dispersed flows are those where the primary phase is continuous. Computational fluid dynamics has been identified as a viable solution method for analyzing complex flows in complex systems. Experimental measurement is not always possible. Multiphase Flows: Multiphase flow refers to a situation where more than one fluid is present and the fluids are immiscible. heat generation and heat transfer equipment. drying equipment. While measurement probes provide point data. Scale-up and extrapolation issues associated with testing are far more complex for multiphase systems. the mixing scale is larger than the molecular scale. Scaling methods and dimensional analysis for single-phase flows exist.Appendix A Introduction: A chemical processing plant employs a wide variety of process equipment. Multiphase flows can be broadly classified into continuous-dispersed flows and continuous-continuous flows.

These methods involve the solution of conservation equations of mass. CFD models for multiphase flows can be broadly divided into the following categories: Algebraic slip model. Algebraic Slip Model: This is the simplest multiphase flow model and is essentially a single-phase model. The difference in fluid properties between the phases results in mass. This model is suitable for continuous-dispersed systems. bubbles and particulate flows are some examples of continuous-dispersed flows.primary phase. Continuouscontinuous flows are those where all fluids are continuous. This is computed by solving a continuity equation for the dispersed phase. density. Volume fraction is obtained by solving individual continuity equations for each phase. It is based on the assumption of interpenetrating fluids. momentum and energy are solved. bubbles or particles. momentum and energy exchange between the phases. energy and species at thousands of locations within the flow domain. momentum. A multiphase flow system consists of multiple phases occupying the same region of space. concentration etc. The distribution of the dispersed phase is described by its volume fraction. In each of the above methods the conservation equations of mass. temperature. 67 . The fluids compete for the same volume in space. pressure. Eulerian-Lagrangian models and EulerianEulerian models. The presence of each phase is quantified by volume fraction. The phases are modeled by solving one set of continuity and momentum equations using average or mixture properties for density and viscosity. Flow of slurries. Drift flux model. This model is valid only for those situations where the sum total of volume fractions of all dispersed phases is very small. The computed solution provides flow variables such as velocity. where there is no interface between the fluids and the two phases can move at different velocities. Flows involving a free surface between fluids is an example of such a situation. The dispersed phase occupies disconnected regions of space and is present in the form of drops. which represents the fraction of volume occupied by that particular phase. momentum and energy conservation as described by the Navier-Stokes equations. Local momentum equilibrium between the phases is assumed to prescribe the slip velocity between the phases. CFD Models for Multiphase Flows: CFD methods are based on first principles of mass. at thousands of locations within the domain. This model is suitable for those situations where a large number of dispersed phases are present and a full multiphase solution is not possible. Models that describe these interactions are complex and sophisticated. Complex interactions arise due to the proximity of multiple phases. also known as slip velocity is defined using an algebraic relationship. The relative velocity between the phases.

Equations for the dispersed phase: A force balance equation based on Newton’s second law of motion is solved to compute the trajectory of the discrete phase. This model is applied for continuous-dispersed systems and is based on the assumption of interpenetrating fluids. corrections to the drag force computed using correlations for spherical particles are applied. This model accounts for the volume displaced by the dispersed phase and is thus less restrictive than the algebraic slip model. drops or bubbles. For each particle stream ordinary differential equations representing mass. The relative velocity between the phases is computed using an algebraic relationship and is based on the assumption of local momentum equilibrium. The distribution of the dispersed phase is described by its volume fraction and is computed by solving a continuity equation for the dispersed phase. The primary phase is continuous. The total force acting on the particle is composed of various forces such as drag. gravity and buoyancy are typically the most dominant forces on a particle. The two phases are coupled by including appropriate interaction terms in the continuous phase equations. This model is applicable for those situations where the discrete phase is injected as a continuous stream into the continuous phase. Drag force for spherical particles can be computed through well-known correlations. momentum and energy transfer are solved to compute its state and location. heat and mass transfer from and to the discrete phase are computed by solving discrete equations for the dispersed phase. Eulerian-Lagrangian Model: This model is applicable to continuous-dispersed systems and is very often referred to as a discrete particle model or particle transport model. The volume displaced by the dispersed phase is not taken into account. any other significant force may also be included. lift. which may be a gas or a liquid. buoyancy.Drift Flux Model: This model can be referred to as a one-and-half phase model. The phases are modeled by solving one set of continuity and momentum equations using average or mixture properties for density and viscosity. This occurs when the relative velocity between phases. thermophoretic force. typically less than 10%. The continuous phase flow field is computed by solving the Navier-Stokes equations. Correlations for spherical particles are applied to estimate the drag force. u p is the particle velocity and F is the force acting on the particle and t is time. Flow trajectories. virtual mass force. Drag. The secondary phase is discrete and may be composed of particles. m. If the particle is non-spherical. also known as drift. If the continuous 68 . is small and the inertia associated with drift can be neglected. pressure gradient. As a result. this model is applicable for low volume fractions of the dispersed phase. gravity.1) where m is the particle mass. The dispersed phase is represented by tracking a small number of representative particle streams. du p dt =F (A.

such as in cyclones. Heat transfer to the particle is modeled by solving a lump capacity energy balance equation. Qr is heat transfer due to radiation and Qm is heat transfer due to mass transfer. α is absorption coefficient. Qr = σA(αT∞ − εT 4 ) 4 (A. C is concentration of evaporating specie component in particle and C f is concentration of evaporating specie component in fluid. dt (A. Qc = hA(T f − T ) (A.3) Where h is heat transfer coefficient and is computed using correlations for spherical particles.5) Where Mass transfer between the particle and continuous phase is modeled using the following equation dm = K m (C f − C ) dt (A. precipitators and spray dryers. A is area of particle. T f is local temperature of the continuous phase.6) Where K m is mass transfer coefficient. Qm = dm L dt dm is rate of mass transfer and L is latent heat of vaporization. This model provides complete information on the behavior and residence 69 .2) Where C p is the particle specific heat. ε is emissivity and T∞ is the surrounding medium temperature.phase flow field is turbulent then turbulent interactions between the particles and the turbulent eddies in the continuous phase can be modeled using a stochastic model. T is particle temperature and Qc is heat transfer due to convection. If the volatile components of the particle are boiling a more sophisticated relationship for mass transfer is applied. mC p dT = Q c + Q r + Qm dt (A.4) Where σ is boltzman constant. The Eulerian-Lagrangian model is applied to simulate flows in unit operations where the volume fraction of the dispersed phase is small.

gravity. Concepts and conclusions apply for multiple phases as well. viz. mass conservation for that phase. U is velocity. For continuous-dispersed systems the velocity of each phase is computed using the Navier-Stokes equations. pressure.7) represents temporal change of scalar φ at a fixed point in space. concentration and temperature field. φ is any conserved scalar. then this term represents momentum transfer due to difference in velocity and. If φ is the velocity vector and Sp is pressure gradient then the equation represents momentum transfer. buoyancy. If φ is one then the above equation represents volume fraction equation i. the first term on right-hand-side represents diffusion. The dispersed phase may be in the form of particles. The Eulerian-Eulerian model is applicable for continuous-dispersed as well as continuous-continuous systems. then it represents heat transfer due to difference in temperature. Drag.( r1Γ1∇φ1 ) + Sp + IP12 dt (A. the second term represents change in φ due to convection. The forces acting on the dispersed phase are modeled using empirical correlations and included as part of the interphase transfer terms.8) The first term in equation (A. Interaction of individual particle streams with turbulent eddies and solid surfaces such as walls can be modeled. r is volume fraction. if φ is temperature. d ( ρ1r1φ1 ) + ∇. mathematical formulation for two-phase systems is presented below.7) Where subscript 1 refers to phase 1. The second and third terms represent interphase transfer due to mass transfer. The interphase transfer coefficient k12 is computed using empirical correlations. These forces are computed for an individual particle and then scaled 70 .time of individual particles. Eulerian-Eulerian Model: This is the most general model for multiphase flows. virtual mass effects are some of the forces that may be acting on the dispersed phase. It is based on the principal of inter-penetrating continua. Each phase is governed by the same set of governing equations. A general transport equation for EulerianEulerian model is as follows. For ease of discussion. momentum and energy with each other.e. Each phase is described by its distinctive physical properties and has its own velocity. generation or destruction of φ due to reactions or any other mechanism. The last term IP12 represents interaction between the phases and is normally referred to as the interphase transfer term and is represented as follows.e. If φ is velocity. lift.8) represents interphase transfer due to difference in φ between the phases. ρ is density of phase. IP12 = k12 (φ 2 − φ1 ) + m12φ 2 − m21φ1 (A.( ρ1r1U 1φ1 ) = ∇. The first term on the left-hand-side of equation (A. penetrate each other in space and exchange mass. the Navier-Stokes equations. drops or bubbles. The phases share the same volume. the second term on the right-hand-side represents source terms i.

In many cases CFD solutions are obtained to plan design changes and verify design change concepts. Correlations based on a single particle are not appropriate when the local volume fraction of the dispersed phase is high. Gas-solid flows can be classified into three regimes: • Elastic regime: in this regime the solid phase supports large loads and is normally at its maximum packing condition. CFD solutions are used to take an ‘inside look’ into the operation of these devices. Multiphase Flow Applications: The CFD models described above are applied to simulate multiphase flows in a wide variety of process units. • Plastic regime: in this regime the solid phase flows as a plastic material. 71 . then appropriate correlations for bubble distortion effects are also required.by the local volume fraction to account for multiple particles. These forces are modeled either using empirical solids pressure type of models or using a more sophisticated approach based on kinetic theory. providing guidance for process improvement and increased efficiency. This results in minimization of down-time and increased productivity. formation of bubbles. Multi-particle effects and corrections based on the presence of multiple particles in the vicinity of a single particle are applied. particle-particle interaction plays an important role and results in additional forces in the solid phase. In this model velocity field for both phases is assumed to be the same and a single set of momentum equations with average fluid properties is solved. drops and breakup of jets. Simulation of gas-solid flows requires additional models. If the dispersed phase is in the form of bubbles. Current CFD methods are applicable for viscous regime flows. Continuous-continuous systems are modeled using a special version of the EulerianEulerian model known as the homogenous flow model or the volume of fluid model. General models for multiphase flows are not suitable for gas-solid flows as these models do not include effects that are dominant in gas-solid flows but are not important in liquid-liquid. filling of containers. In gas-solid flows. Individual volume fraction equations are solved to track the phases. This model is typically applied to simulate free surface flows. • Viscous regime: this regime is characterized by free flowing solids as found in risers and fluidized beds. solid-liquid systems. Flow of solids is not continuous but in the form of bands or layers. This model is appropriate if the interphase drag is large and the phases attain equilibrium over small length scales. gasliquid. Surface tension effects are typically included as part of this model. This results in a detailed understanding of the flow behavior.

Applicability of CFD techniques for design. The full potential of CFD for multiphase flow applications is yet to be fully realized.Conclusions: CFD technology has made numerous advances over the past few years. Limitations and assumptions associated with these models play a critical role in judicious choice of models. The applications discussed in the above sections show only a portion of the wide range of applications for multiphase CFD in the chemical process industries. analysis. It can now be applied to study complex flow fields such as multiphase flows in chemical process units. optimization and process improvement of various unit operations has been discussed. 72 . Successful simulation of complex multiphase phenomena requires full understanding of the underlying models.

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