Flame Temperature

Hsin Chu Professor Dept. of Environmental Engineering National Cheng Kung University

1. Energy Balance on a System
A simple steady-state thermal energy steadybalance can be constructed around a constantconstant-pressure combustion system (such as a boiler).  Next slide (Fig. 4.1) (Fig. 4.1) The energy flows into and out of the system. system. 


The enthalpy of the entering air is considered to be sensible heat only (i. (b) The enthalpy of the flue gas must be consistent with the calorific value of the fuel which is used in the balance. HP and CV (calorific value) are all related to the standard temperature of 25 . the fuel/air is considered to be a dry mixture). Before the energy balance is developed it is worth looking more closely at the terms involved: (a) HR.. 4 .e.

 5 . then the flue gas enthalpy will consist of sensible heat terms only. then HR should contain a latent heat term equal to the mass of water produced per kilogram of fuel multiplied by the latent heat of evaporation of water at 25 (hfg).If the gross calorific value is used. hence the net calorific value/sensible heat terms system is the more appropriate.  In this chapter we are concerned with predicting the temperature reached within the flame.  If the net calorific value is used.

The case loss from the outside of the plant. Qc. 6 . 25 ) is very small and often neglected. the sensible heat in the air and fuel (ref.   The energy balance about the system can be written as: CV + HR = HP + Qc + Qu (1) HR. is also generally small compared to the other energy fluxes and is similarly often considered negligible.

101 Medium fuel oil Heavy fuel oil 2. the greater should be the effectiveness of the heat exchanger section.172 Anthracite 2.102 Bituminous Coal 2. Table 4.093 Light fuel oil 2.180 7 . The higher the flame temperature.1 shows flame temperatures for some common fuels.1 Flame temperatures for some common fuels Fuel Adiabatic flame temperature ( ) Natural gas 2.2. Adiabatic Flame Temperature  Table 4.104 2.070 Kerosine 2.

It is assumed that combustion takes place under adiabatic conditions.e.   We can use the idea of the energy balance about the combustion system to derive a straightforward way of estimating the temperature of a flame. no heat transfer is permitted across the boundary of the system. i. The implication of this is that Qc = 0 and Qu = 0 Hence equation (1) simplifies down to CV + HR = HP (2) 8 .

hence HP contains only sensible heat terms. 25 . the enthalpy of the fuel and air (ref.  It will be taken that CV is the net specific heat of the fuel. 9 . can easily be calculated from H R ! (ti  25) §(mcP ) R Where ti is the initial temperature. The terms on the left-hand side of equation left(2) are simple to evaluate as CV will be known for the fuel used and HR.

This relationship cannot be solved explicitly for tf as there will be a considerable difference between tf and the reference temperature 25 . hence the value of tf is required to evaluate the specific heats of the combustion products.25) § (mc P ) P . oxygen and nitrogen can be evaluated at the mean temperature (ti + 25)/2 and the enthalpy of the reactants is thus easily evaluated. 10 H P = (t f .The specific heats of the fuel.  The right-hand side of equation (2). however. is not rightso easily evaluated as it is defined by  where tf is the flame temperature.

11 .3. While the latter implication is effectively true in practice. Specific Heats of Gases   Simple ideal gas theory predicts that the specific heat of a gas is not a function of its temperature or pressure. the specific heat of a gas does increase with temperature above about 100 . This effect arises because molecules have vibrational (internal) energy as well as kinetic energy due to the motion of the complete molecule.

 12 .  This cannot be modelled using the ideas of classical mechanics but the effect can be predicted using quantum theory.This additional mode of ´storingµ energy will mean that the specific heat of a gas will increase as its temperature rises.

Where 9. Values for the coefficients for the polynomials for some gases are given in Table 4. A straightforward integer power series is most convenient: CP = a[0] + a[1]t +a[2]t2 + a[3]t3 +««.9739 e-4 means 9. with either fractional or integer powers.. (next slide).2 (next slide and second slide).9739 × 10-4 13 . A polynomial expression is normally used.   Empirical equations which allow the calculation of specific heats as a function of temperature have been in use for some time.



   In the case of the above values. the data was obtained in the temperatures range 25252. Straightforward linear interpolation should be used for intermediate temperatures. temperatures. For hand calculations. 16 . tables of specific heats are a more useful formulation and Table 4.3 (next slide) gives values for the common slide) combustion gases over a typical range of temperatures for combustion in boilers.000 and the polynomials should not be used outside these limits.


i. (CV + HR). 18 . (2) guess a value for tf and use this to find the specific heats of the combustion products at the average between the flame and the reference temperature. lefti.e. [(tf + 25)/2] .4. Calculation Algorithm  A straightforward method for the calculation of adiabatic flame temperature is to execute the following steps: (1) evaluate the left-hand side of equation (2).e.

looping back to step (2) until satisfactory convergence is achieved. (3)solve (3) solve equation (2) for tf. 19 . (4)compare (4) compare the new value of tf with the original estimate and if there is a substantial difference use the new value to re-evaluate the specific reheats.

We have seen that this is not in fact the case and an integrating calculation should be used. However. 20 . hence taking a simple arithmetical average is quite acceptable. taking the average temperature over the interval is only valid if the relationship between specific heat and temperature is linear.   With regard to step (2) above. the accuracy of calculating the adiabatic flame temperature by this simple procedure is constrained by a number of limitions.

While this method is not a particularly efficient algorithm. it is stable and will generally converge to within 5 in four iterations. the mass of each of the reactants and products.14 MJ/kg. for 1 kg fuel. Take the net calorific value of methane as 50.  Solution: The first step is to evaluate. These steps have been covered in previous chapters and the result can be summarized thus:  21 .  Example 1: Find the adiabatic flame temperature for a stoichiometric methane/air flame if the initial temperature of the fuel and air is 10 .

5 .17 kg N2 13. 25 ): HR = (10-25){1 CPCH4 + (4 CPO2) + (13. At this temperature the values of the specific heats are: CH4 2.17 CPN2)} (10The mean temperature of the reactants over the interval is 17.92 N2 1.17 kg N2 The initial temperature of the reactants is 10 and the value of HR is the sensible heat in the reactants (ref.75 kg CO2 4 kg O2 2.23 kJ/kg/K O2 0.9 kJ/kg methane 22 .04 so HR = -293.25 kg H2O 13.  Reactants Products 1 kg CH4 2.

e.850 kJ/kg iving This value of HP represents the sensible heat in the combustion products above the reference temperature of 25 .575 + 25)/2.e. the mean temperature of the products above 25 is (1.144 ² 293. i.25) {(13.9 = 49.75 CPCO2)}  To solve this equation by trial and error requires an initial guess for the flame temperature.850 = (tf .25 CPH2O) + (2. 800 .17 CPN2) + (2.575 . i. 49. 23 . If we assume 1. Giving HP = CV + HR =50.

850 = (tf25){(13.33)+(2.75×1.18)+(2.33)+(2.33 CO2 1.18 kJ/kg/K H2O 2.17×1.053 24 .17×1.26 so the energy equation is 49.081+25)/2=1.75× 25){(13.25×2.18)+(2. water vapor and carbon dioxide at this temperature are N2 1.25×2. The specific heats of nitrogen.26)}  tf=2.081 The new mean temperature of the products is (2.

22 kJ/kg/K N2 H2O 2.50 CO2 1.998  The mean temperature of the products now becomes (1.30 solving the energy equation for the third time gives: tf = 1.The specific heats are now: 1.30 A further evaluation of the energy equation gives tf = 2.48 CO2 1.012 giving N2 1.22 kJ/kg/K H2O 2.998+25)/2=1.001 #  25 .

5. and (3)the (3) the initial temperature (preheat) of the air and fuel. Calculated Adiabatic Flame Temperatures  Values of the predicted adiabatic flame temperature for hydrocarbon fuels are affected by the following factors: (1) the calorific value (and chemical composition) of the fuel. (2)the air-to(2) the air-to-fuel ratio at which combustion takes place. 26 .

CALORIFIC VALUE   It would be expected that the higher the calorific value of the fuel the higher the final flame temperature produced.1 and a calorific value of 54 MJ/kg (gross).0 and a calorific value of 33. on the other hand. A typical coal.3 MJ/kg. 27 . has a carbon-to-hydrogen carbon-toratio of around 18. natural gas has a carbon-tocarbon-tohydrogen ratio of around 3. For example. however. The picture is. not quite as simple as this since the chemical composition of the fuel also plays a part.

The adiabatic flame temperature for a number of common hydrocarbon fuels are given before in Table 4. which will lower the adiabatic flame temperature. a glance at Table 4. 28 .  Fuels with a higher proportion of hydrogen will generate more water vapor in their combustion products. In each case combustion is stoichiometric and the initial temperature of the air and fuel is 25 .1.3 shows that water vapor has a higher specific heat than the other combustion products.

It can be seen that there is quite a small variation in the calculated flame temperature.  The ´conformityµ is due to the effect of the hydrogen in the fuel discussed above.  29 . given the wide variation between the calorific values of these fuels.

with a corresponding reduction in temperature. 30 . as although the mass of flue gas is reduced. With sub-stoichiometric air supply the flame subtemperature will also fall.AIR-TOAIR-TO-FUEL RATIO   Any excess air will increase the mass of flue gas relative to the mass of fuel. the effective calorific value of the fuel is also reduced by an amount equivalent to the calorific value of the carbon monoxide which is present in the flue gas.

and demonstrates the effects described above.  Next slide (Fig.  31 .2) It shows the temperature calculated for a natural gas flame as a function of the excess air ratio. above. 4. 4.The net calorific value of carbon monoxide is 10.2) (Fig.11 MJ/kg.

air fuel ratio .

but the temperatures in oxygen-enriched flames oxygenare so high that dissociation effects (discussed later) are highly significant. as the mass of flue gas is considerably reduced. in particular welding.  Very high flame temperature can be achieved by oxygen enrichment of the flame. 33 . Oxygen flames are used in a number of process applications.

PREHEAT   Common sense (and equation (2)) suggest that preheating the air will increase the final temperature of the flame. greater heat transfer will be obtained for the same fuel input rate. 34 . This is a useful feature because by increasing the temperature difference between the flue gas and the heat extracting fluid.

4.This will result in an increase in the thermal efficiency of the plant.3 (next slide).  An example of the effect of preheat on the adiabatic temperature of a natural gas flame at 5% excess air is shown in Fig.  35 .


37 . hence reducing the actual flame temperature. there are a number of reasons why the actual flame temperature will be lower than the value predicted by this procedure.  In practice. The most significant of these is that at the high temperature achieved in flames the combustion products will ´dissociateµ back into reactants or other higher reactive species: this process is accompanied by an absorption of energy.

  The results of above calculations are then more correctly referred to as ´undissociated adiabatic flame temperaturesµ. In order to understand the more complete picture it is necessary to gain some insight into the principles of chemical equilibrium. which acknowledges the simplifications inherent in them. which are introduced in the next chapter. 38 .

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