Investigation of flame structure of biomass-derived gaseous fuels

Renewable energy sources are playing an increasingly important role in world energy supply, which is facing an unprecedented dilemma in meeting growing energy demand while dealing with depleting natural resources. Biogas and bio-syngas are the most important gaseous renewable energy sources that can be obtained from biomass. Biogas is normally produced by the anaerobic digestion or fermentation of biodegradable materials such as biomass, manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material, and agriculture crops.

These renewable gaseous fuels are not broadly used, despite their advantages, mainly because of their complex chemical compositions. The variable fuel composition can cause problems during its combustion. In fact, the fuel composition can actually change, and the fuel variability may lead to unpredictable combustion performance, combustion instability and hot spots which might deteriorate and damage the combustion hardware.

The HPC4E ‘Biomass for Energy’ team has recently finished a preliminary study and methodology to compare and cross-validate chemical kinetics schemes for biomass-derived gaseous fuels.

The ongoing work is now focused on developing RANS and LES simulations of the reference fuel in order to validate the integration of the thermochemical database using the CFD solver Alya and to validate the results using a well-established jet flame configuration.

Numerical simulations (RANS and LES) will be performed using Alya and compared to experimental results from the Sandia TNF Archive database for a full validation. This study will be followed by the simulation of the different biogases and their comparison to the reference fuel. In addition, an analysis of the combustion performances and thermochemical structure of the biogas will be performed based on the laminar tabulation obtained for the different fuel mixtures.

Daniel Mira
HPC4E researcher - Barcelona Supercomputing Center

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