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Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering

Computational study of combustion in flares: structure and emission of a jet flame in turbulent cross-flow
GERG Academic Network Event Brussels 3 - 4 June 2010

Shariff Lawal, M. Fairweather, D. Ingham L. Ma, M. Pourkashanian and A. Williams

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Introduction
Flares: safe burning of waste hydrocarbons Oilfields, refinery, LNG Pollutants: NOx, CO2, CO, unburned hydrocarbons, greenhouse gases Global flaring >100 billion m3 /year Operating conditions have significant effect on flare flame stability, efficiency and emissions Important to predict this effect to control emissions (stringent regulation / taxes )

Solution gas flare on an off-shore oil production platform

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Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Motivation
Accurate emission measurement: Unresolved in large-scale flares Passive Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy failed validation testing1 Experiment /Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) Few CFD study on emissions pattern from high momentum jet flares Challenging aspect of flares CFD : (3-D, turbulence, complex chemistry, unsteadiness, partial-premixing e.t.c.)

1.

TCEQPFTIRITestingReport,URS(2004):http://www.tceq.state.tx.us

Elevated refinery flare (source: John Zink CO. U.S.A)

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Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Research Objectives
Identify range of fuel jet and wind velocities for sustainable operations (refinery and oil-field flares) Investigate effect of: fuel jet and cross-flow velocities Improved prediction of important physical phenomenon (turbulence, unsteadiness, partial-premixing and coherent structures) Study unresolved issues associated with scaling from small-scale to industrialscale flares: minimum burner diameter appropriate dimensionless parameter

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Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

CFD Validation study


Laboratory-scale, high jet momentum flares2 ( Bandaru and Turns (2000)) Computational domain: 1.67 x 0.68 x 0.34m3; burner diam.: 4.12 and 5.54 mm Boundary conditions: Inlet, outflow, walls and symmetry
Y X

1.0 m Jet flow (CH4)

Flow conditions: Fuel: pure methane uj = 10 - 85 m/s, ucf = 2.3 and 5.0 m/s Recf = 103,500 - 193,500
Cross-flow (Air) 0.17 m

Schematic of the Jet flame in cross-flow (JFICF)


2. Bandaru, R.V. and Turns, S.R. (2000). Combustion and Flame, 121, 137-151.

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Mathematical models
Reynolds average Nervier-Stokes (RANS) transport equations for: continuity, momentum, enthalpy, mixture fraction/variance Turbulence: realizable

and model with buoyancy

Radiation: discrete ordinate method Soot : Brookes and Moss (1990) Combustion: steady / unsteady flamelet model (Peters, 1986)
Multiple flamelet profile, scalar dissipation rate (SDR) ranges: 0.01 39/s; 0.0001 39/s

Reaction mechanism: GRI Mech. 3.0

Fluent 12.0 code

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results Temperature profile


(K)

(a)

X=0.3 m

Mean flame temperature(K) on symmetric plane. (a) Contours, (b) Radial profile at axial location, x = 0.3 m

3.

Birch, A.D., Brown, D.R., Fairweather, M., and Hargrave, G.K. (1989). Combust. Sci. and Tech., 66, 217- 232

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results Flame length


M = u
j 2 j

cf ucf
2

Curvilinear distance from the pipe exit to the flame tip (1200 K) Longer flame at low and high M Increase in M cause decrease and increase in flame length Trend of flame length with M is similar Varying jet exit velocity Varying cross-flow velocity
Momentumratio,M

M =336, ucf/uj = 0.04

Predicted and measured flame length at different momentum ratios.

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results Flame length

Increase in flame height due to lower effect of cross-flow on fuel jet


(a)

Reduce interaction, mixing and air entrainment


(b)

(c)

Mean flame temperature contour on the symmetric plane for: (a) M = 332, (b) M = 192, and (c) M = 116

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results Flame length


M = u
j 2 j

cf ucf
2

Curvilinear distance from the pipe exit to the flame tip (1200 K) Longer flame at low and high M Increase in M cause decrease and increase in flame length Trend of flame length with M is similar Varying jet exit velocity Varying cross-flow velocity
Momentumratio,M

M =336, ucf/uj = 0.04

Predicted and measured flame length at different momentum ratios.

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results Radiant fraction


Peak radiant heat flux with soot higher by only 2.2%
Radiantfraction(%)
20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800

Lower radiant fraction at high M Trend correlate with decrease in flame volume and residence time due to higher Reynolds number

Momentumfluxratio,M

Predicted radiant fractions at different momentum flux ratios

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Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results Emission index (NOx)


Emission index quantity of pollutant in g per kg of fuel burned Higher EINOx at low momentum ratio No significant changes in EINOx with increase in M Improved species prediction for model with small SDR
Predicted and measured NOx emission index at different momentum ratios.
4.5 EINO x(g/Kg) 3.5 2.5 1.5 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Momentumratio,M
Measured(BandaruandTurns,2000)
sdr=0.0001
sdr=0.01

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Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results Emission index (CO)


Much higher effect of small SDR on CO emission index (EICO) CO emission index higher at high M No significant changes in EICO with increase in M Inconsistency in CO prediction possibly due to formation of coherent structures not resolved by RANS turbulence model
EICO (g/Kg)
13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 0 100 200 300
Measured(BandaruandTurns,2000) sdr=0.0001 sdr=0.01

Computational details

400

500

600

700

800

Momentumratio,M

Predicted and measured CO emission index at different momentum ratios.

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Results NO2/NOx ratio

Computational details

NO2 in flames depicted by brownyellowish colouration in fumes


NO2//NOx

NO2/NOx trend similar to CO species NO2/NOx ratio increases slightly at higher M No significant changes in NO2/NOx with increase in M Can same conclusion be made for large-scale flares?

Momentum ratio, M

Predicted and measured NO2/NOx ratio at different momentum ratios.

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Current work
Large-scale industrial flare modelling (CANMET Flare test Facility,
Ottawa, Canada) : Computational domain: 1.83 x 1.2 x 8.3 m3, burner diameters: 2 to 6 Fuel: pure CH4 and mixture of CH4 and N2 Range of jet / wind velocities: 0.23 to 22 ms-1 / 2.0 to 8.5 ms-1 Low momentum flux ratios: 0.2 < M < 15 Second-order turbulence closure resolves secondary flow features Unsteadiness RANS resolves unsteady mean flow structures Preliminary results

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Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Current work preliminary results


Unsteady calculation necessary for buoyancy dominated flow regime Reynolds stress turbulence model improved prediction of velocity field and turbulence kinetic energy
(b) SKE (a) RSM

SKE

Better prediction of recirculation region and flame temperature Similar prediction for the species? (inconclusive: work-in-progress)
Comparison of predicted temperature profile: (a) Reynolds stress (b) standard turbulence model

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Conclusion
Longer flame in the high and low momentum ratio regime Lower radiant heat flux and NOx at high momentum ratio Higher CO and NO2/NOx ratio at high M, no significant increase as M increases Flare operation is more likely acceptable at high momentum ratio ranges Unsteady calculation important in large-scale buoyancy dominated flares

Future Work Improved accuracy of emission prediction through advance turbulence (LES) and combustion models (transported PDF )

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

Acknowledgement
Nigerian Government funding for PhD research through the PTDF overseas scholarship scheme

CENTRE FOR

Computational Fluid Dynamics


UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS