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Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703

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Numerical analysis of pulverized coal combustion characteristics


using advanced low-NOx burner
Ryoichi Kurosea,*, Hisao Makinob, Akira Suzukic
a
Yokosuka Research Laboratory, Central Research Institute of Electric
Power Industry (CRIEPI), 2-6-1 Nagasaka, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 240-0196, Japan
b
CS Promotion Office, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), Otemachi Bldg., 1-6-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8126, Japan
c
CD-adapco JAPAN Co., LTD, Yokohama Landmark Tower 37F, 2-2-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-8137, Japan

Received 5 March 2003; revised 7 July 2003; accepted 7 July 2003; avalilable online 3 December 2003

Abstract
A three-dimensional numerical simulation is applied to a pulverized coal combustion field in a test furnace equipped with an advanced
low-NOx burner called CI-a burner, and the detailed combustion characteristics are investigated. In addition, the validities of the existing
NOx formation and reduction models are examined. The results show that a recirculation flow is formed in the high-gas-temperature region
near the CI-a burner outlet, and this lengthens the residence time of coal particles in this high-temperature region, promotes the evolution of
volatile matter and the progress of char reaction, and produces an extremely low-O2 region for effective NO reduction. It is also found that, by
lessening the effect of NO reduction in Levy et al.’s model and taking the NO formation from char N into account, the accuracy of the NO
prediction is improved. The efficiency factor of the conversion of char N to NO affects the total NO concentration downstream after the
injection of staged combustion air.
q 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Pulverized coal combustion; Numerical simulation; Advanced low-NOx burner

1. Introduction combustion. In this method, some of the combustion air


separated from the burner is supplied via injection ports
Coal is an important energy resource for meeting the mounted on the rear of the furnace, and hence the generation
future demand for electricity, as coal reserves are much of NOx near the burner is suppressed due to the weakened
greater than those of other fossil fuels. Coal-fired thermal oxidation atmosphere. However, unburned carbon tends to
power plants mainly involve pulverized coal combustion, increase, which decreases the combustion efficiency and
for which environmental pollutants, particularly NOx makes it difficult to utilize fly ash as a component of
emissions, must be reduced. Although, NOx emissions cements or concretes. It has therefore been desired to
have been lowered by improving the combustion develop a new combustion technology, by which NOx can
technology and using catalytic denitrification facilities, be reduced without the increase of unburned carbon.
further reduction by means of combustion technology is To meet this severe demand, we investigated issues such
required, since catalytic denitrification facilities require as pulverized coal particle behavior and reaction, and NOx
high cost. In utility boilers, low-NO x combustion formation and reduction near the burner in a furnace, and
technologies such as low-air-ratio combustion, flue gas developed an advanced low-NOx burner called CI-a
recirculation combustion, and staged combustion have been (CRIEPI-IHI Advanced Low-Pollution High-Ability
used in combination with catalytic denitrification facilities. (CRIEPI: Central Research Institute of Electric Power
Among these low-NOx combustion technologies, the staged Industry, IHI: Ishikawajima –Harima Heavy Industries Co.,
combustion method is the most effective for pulverized coal Ltd)) burner [1,2]. The main concept of the CI-a burner is
that the residence time of the pulverized coal particles in the
* Corresponding author. Fax: þ 81-468-56-3346. high-temperature field near the burner is lengthened through
E-mail address: kurose@criepi.denken.or.jp (R. Kurose). the use of recirculation flow, and volatile evolution and char
0016-2361/$ - see front matter q 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2003.07.003
694 R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703

reaction of the coal particles are accelerated. By repeated the high-temperature field near the burner outlet and
experiments, we have achieved a further 30% NO x accelerates the evolution of volatile matter and the progress
reduction compared to conventional low-NOx burners of char reaction (the formation of recirculation flow in
without any increase of the unburned carbon. However, the furnace has been evaluated only by the cold flow test
the behaviors of the flow and the coal particles in the furnace using NO gas as tracer gas [2]). Therefore, the amount of
have not been sufficiently evaluated yet because of the unburned carbon is effectively reduced, but the NOx
difficulty of measuring them in high-temperature fields. concentration increases in this region. However, NOx is
To develop the further advanced coal combustion technol- immediately reduced to N2 in the reduction flame existing
ogies, it is of great importance to clarify their behaviors. after the recirculation zone. Furthermore, this NOx reduction
In this study, we apply a three-dimensional numerical effect is promoted by the staged combustion method, in
simulation to the pulverized coal combustion field in a which some of the combustion air separated from the burner
furnace equipped with the CI-a burner and investigate the is supplied via injection ports mounted on the rear of the
combustion characteristics in detail. Although, similar furnace. Detailed descriptions of the CI-a burner and its
numerical simulations of the pulverized coal combustion performance can be found in our previous papers [1,2].
fields have been conducted so far, most of the burner
configurations were strongly simplified in spite of the fact
that subtle differences in the burner shape significantly 3. Numerical simulation
affect the coal combustion characteristics. Hence, the
configuration of the CI-a burner is faithfully duplicated 3.1. Computational domain and conditions
here. In addition, the validities of the existing NOx
formation and reduction models for the combustion fields The test furnace used is that at the Yokosuka Research
produced with this CI-a burner are examined. In particular, Laboratory of CRIEPI, in which the CI-a burner with a coal
the determination of two parameters, the ratio of char N to combustion capacity of about 0.1 t/h is installed (Fig. 2).
total N in coal and the conversion of char N to NO, has been The test furnace is a water-cooled horizontal and cylindrical
the major subject of coal combustion research. In this study, furnace made of steel. The diameter of this furnace is 0.85 m
the effects of these parameters are discussed. and the length is 8 m. Refractory materials are placed on the
inside wall. Fourteen ports are mounted on the furnace
sidewall for staged combustion air injection and for
2. Concept of CI-a burner the measurement of temperature and gas concentration
distributions in the furnace.
Generally, conventional low-NOx burners have been The configurations of the computational domain and the
designed to suppress the mixing of secondary and tertiary CI-a burner are shown in Fig. 3. These are designed to
combustion air with primary air, which includes pulverized faithfully match the actual configurations. The
coal, in order to reduce NOx generation. In contrast, the CI-a computational domain is half of the furnace, and a periodic
burner is designed to promote mixing near the burner by condition is applied in the azimuthal direction. Combustion
means of recirculation flow produced by the straight motion air is injected into the furnace through the burner and staged
of primary air and the strong swirling motion of the combustion air ports located 3.0 m from the burner outlet.
secondary and tertiary air (Fig. 1). This recirculation flow The air passing through the burner is divided into primary
lengthens the residence time of pulverized coal particles in air, secondary air and tertiary air. Primary air has a straight

Fig. 1. Concept of the CI-a burner.


R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703 695

Fig. 2. Schematic of pulverized coal combustion test furnace.

motion, and secondary and tertiary air have strong swirling The gas-phase turbulence is represented by the renorma-
motions. The swirl vane angles for secondary and tertiary air lization group (RNG) k – 1 model [6,7], which is believed to
are set at 818 and 728, respectively, which are optimum give more accurate results for swirl and other highly
values for bituminous coal (these values are zero when the strained flows than the generally used k – 1 two-equation
swirl force is zero). The pulverized coal is carried by the model [8]. The gas-phase time-averaged continuity equation
primary air. and conservation equations of momentum, turbulent kinetic
The computational conditions are given to correspond energy, dissipation, enthalpy and species in cylindrical
with our experiment [1 – 3]. The thermal input of the coal coordinates are
combustion test furnace is 2.725 £ 106 kJ/h (the coal feed
› › ›
rate is about 97 kg/h). The air ratio is 1.24, and the excess O2 ðrUfx Þ þ ðr rUfr Þ þ ðrUf u Þ ¼ 0 ð1Þ
›x r ›r r ›u
concentration at the furnace outlet is 4.0%. The staged
combustion air ratio is set at 30%. The mass ratio of the › › ›
ðrUfx fn ; Þ þ ðr rUfr fn ; Þ þ ð rU f u f n ; Þ
pulverized coal (dry base) to the primary air is 1:2.2, and the ›x r ›r r ›u
mass ratio of secondary air to tertiary air is 1:6. The test fuel      
› ›f › ›f › ›f
is Newlands bituminous coal, the properties of which are ¼ Gf v þ r Gf v þ Gf v
listed in Table 1. ›x ›x r ›r ›r r ›u r ›u

þ Sf þ Gfr ; ð2Þ
3.2. Mathematical models and numerical method
where fv denotes the generalized variables expressing fluid
The computation is performed using the STAR-CD code. velocity components Ufi ; turbulent kinetic energy k; rate of
The mathematical models and numerical method employed eddy dissipation 1; fluid enthalpy h and mass fraction of
here are as follows [4,5]. chemical species Yi : Gf denotes the turbulent exchange

Fig. 3. Schematics of computational domain and the CI-a burner.


696 R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703

Table 1 study), and absorptivity of coal particles (– ). q00p is the


Properties of Newlands coal surface heat flux defined by q00p ¼ hðTp 2 Tg Þ where h; Tp
and Tg are the heat transfer coefficient (J/(m2 s K)) and
Proximate analysis (wt%)
particle and gas temperatures (K). Regarding the heat gain
Moisturea (2.5)
Volatile matterb 28.4 due to the char combustion Qp (J/s), the fraction of heat of
Fixed carbonb 56.4 residual char combustion liberated on or close to the particle
Ashb 15.2 surface is assumed to be 0.3 [12]. QR is calculated as
Fuel ratio (– ) 1.99 QR ¼ ðI=4sÞ1=4 where I is radiant intensity (J/(m2 s)).
Ultimate analysisb (wt%) The radiant intensity I is calculated by the discrete transfer
Carbon 71.8 radiation method of Lockwood and Shah [13], which
Hydrogen 4.5 simulates the radiative heat transfer among the gas, particles
Nitrogen 1.59
and wall. In this study, the absorptivities of the coal particles
Oxygen 6.4
Total sulfur 0.54 and wall are assumed to be 0.85 and 0.4, respectively.
Combustible sulfur 0.48 Also, the absorption coefficient of the gas is set at 0.075.
Heating value (low)b (MJ/kg) 28.1 The interaction of the conserved properties between the gas
a phase and coal particles is calculated by the Particle-Source-
As received.
b
Dry basis. In Cell technique [14].
The schematic diagram of the pulverized coal
coefficient, and Sf and Sfp represent the gas-phase source combustion simplified for this calculation is shown in
terms additional to the convection and diffusion terms and Fig. 4. Coal devolatilization is simulated by a first-order
particle-phase source terms, respectively. The actual forms single reaction model (arrow (1))
of these terms are provided in other papers [6 – 9]. The dV
continuity and momentum equations are solved using ¼ Kv ðV p 2 VÞ ð7Þ
dt
the SIMPLE algorithm [10]. The nonlinear terms in the !
conservation equations are approximated by a first-order Ev
upwind scheme, and a second-order central difference Kv ¼ Av exp 2 ; ð8Þ
RTp
scheme is employed for other derivatives.
The equation of motion for the representative coal where V p and V indicate the total volatile matter content in
particles is given by the coal (kg) and volatile mass released from the coal (kg),
dUpi 1 and R is the universal gas constant ( ¼ 8.31 J/(mol K)).
mp ¼ Cd rp Ap lUfj 2 Upj lðUfi 2 Upi Þ ð3Þ Kinematic parameters of pre-exponential factor Av and
dt 2
activation energy Ev in Eq. (8) are 2021 (1/s) and
24ð1 þ 0:15 Re0:687
p Þ 3.11 £ 104 (J/mol), respectively, [15].
Cd ¼ ð4Þ Gaseous combustion between the volatilized fuel and air
Rep
is calculated using the combined model of kinetics and eddy
Dp lUfi 2 Upi l
Rep ¼ ; ð5Þ
n
where mp ; Upi ; rp ; Ap and Dp are the particle mass (kg),
velocity components (m/s), density (kg/m3), projected area
(m2) and diameter (m), respectively. Cd and Rep represent
the particle drag coefficient (– ) and particle Reynolds
number ( –), where n is the kinematic viscosity of fluid
(m2/s). The effect of the turbulence of the gas phase on
particle motion is modeled by a stochastic method [11].
The particle temperature Tp is calculated by considering the
heat transfer due to convection, radiation, heat loss due to
devolatilization in coal and heat gain due to char
combustion, using the follow equation
dðcp;p Tp Þ dmp
mp ¼2As q00p þAs 1p sðQ4R 2Tp4 Þþhfg þQp ; ð6Þ
dt dt
Here, As ; cp;p ; s; hfg and 1p are the particle surface area (m2),
specific heat (J/(kg K)), Stefan – Boltzmann constant
( ¼ 5.670 £ 1028 J/(m2 s K4)), latent heat of the phase
change of moisture (J/kg) (this term is negligible in this Fig. 4. Concept of pulverized coal combustion.
R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703 697

dissipation models [16] (arrows (3) –(5)). The chemical Table 3


mechanism consists of two global reactions Initial diameter, mass fraction and number of pulverized coal particles

Ca Hb Oc þ 0:5O2 ! aCO þ bH2 O ð9Þ Dp (mm) MFp (–) Np (–)

CO þ O2 ! CO2 ; 5 6.76 500


20 26.81 300
where a; b; c; a and b are governed by the coal constituent 40 24.00 200
given in Table 1. Regarding the kinetics, the rate of reaction 60 16.25 100
for reactants such as Ca Hb Oc and CO is given as an 80 12.20 100
Arrhenius expression 100 13.98 100
!
Eg
Rg ¼ Ag exp 2 ½Reactantd ½O2 e ; ð10Þ lower concentrations of NO2 and N2O. Zeldovich NO
RTg
(arrow (6)) is evaluated by applying the quasi-steady-
Here, ½c means the mol fractions of chemical species c: state approximation for N species to the extended
The values of the pre-exponential factor Ag ; activation Zeldovich mechanisms (N 2 þ O ! NO þ N,
energy Eg ; and orders d and e are listed [17] in Table 2. N þ O2 ! NO þ O, N þ OH ! NO þ H) with the rate
The char burning rate is calculated using Field et al.’s constants used by Baulch et al. [19]. The O concentration
model [18] (arrow (2)) required is given by Westenberg’s expression [20].
  Prompt NO (arrow (7)) is predicted using the models
dC Kc Kd
¼2 P pD2 ð11Þ given by De Soete [21], and fuel NO (arrows (8) and
dt Kc þ Kd g p (9)) is also calculated using De Soete’s models [21,22].
 
5:06 £ 1027 Tp þ Tg 0:75 Fuel NO originating from volatile N is assumed to be
Kd ¼ ð12Þ formed through instantaneous evolution in the form of
Dp 2
! HCN, and the minor evolution of NH3 is neglected.
Ec The reduction of NO for char burning is taken into
Kc ¼ Ac exp 2 ; ð13Þ account using Levy et al.’s model [23] (this NO
RTp
reduction model is incorporated into the original
where C is the char mass (kg), Kc and Kd are the surface STAR-CD code as a user subroutine). The details of
reaction rate coefficient and diffusional reaction rate the models of fuel NO emission and reduction will be
coefficient ((kg/m2 s)/Pa), and Pg is the partial pressure of discussed later.
oxygen in the bulk gas (Pa). This model is obtained under It is assumed that the pulverized coal particles consist
the assumption that the char burning rate is controlled by of particles with diameters Dp of 5, 20, 40, 60, 80 and
both the chemical reaction rate and the diffusion rate of 100 mm. The mass fractions MFp of coal particles with
oxygen to the surface of the char particle. The values of the Dp ¼ 5; 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 and their representative
kinematic parameters of the pre-exponential factor Ac and coal particle numbers Np are shown in Table 3.
activation energy Ec in Eq. (13) are set at Ac ¼ 8:0 £ 1023 The temperature and velocity of the particles at the
(kg/m2 s)/(N/m2) and Ec ¼ 5:0 £ 104 (J/mol), respectively. burner inlet are equal to those of primary air.
The NOx formation model is typically employed in a The temperature of primary combustion air and coal
‘post-processing’ fashion, where a converged combustion particles is set to be 348 K, and that of secondary and
flow field solution is first obtained before performing the tertiary combustion air is 598 K. Regarding the boundary
NO prediction [9]. For the formation of NOx, three condition on the wall, the temperature outside the furnace
different mechanisms are employed, namely Zeldovich is assumed to be 308 K and thermal resistance is set at
NOx, prompt NOx and fuel NOx formation mechanisms 0.04 (m2 s K/J).
indicated by arrows (6) –(9), respectively, in Fig. 4. The number of grid points is about 140,000, and the grid
Zeldovich NOx and prompt NOx are classified into spaces near the burner are compressed. The CPU time
thermal NOx. Here, only the production of NO is taken required for this computation is about 72 h on a DELL PC
into account because the NOx emitted to the atmosphere DIMENSION 8100.
from combusting fuels consists mostly of NO, with much

4. Results and discussion


Table 2
Parameters for Arrhenius expression [eq. (10)]
4.1. Flow and coal particle behaviors
Reactant Ag [1/s] Eg [J/kmol] d ½2 e ½2
Fig. 5 shows the predicted gas velocity vectors in the
Ca Hb Oc 2:8 £ 109 2:023 £ 108 20.3 1.3
CO 9:0 £ 1013 1:676 £ 108 1 0.25
CI-a burner and near the burner. It is observed in Fig. 5(a)
that the secondary and tertiary combustion air introduced
698 R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703

Fig. 6. Contour plot of streamwise gas velocity.

particles with diameters of 5, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 mm


(Table 3) are shown separately. Here, only the coal
particles containing unburned carbon are plotted and the
ash particles are not shown. It is found that all particles
tend to be caught by the swirling flow irrespective of the
particle diameter, and that the small particles with
diameters of 5 and 20 mm vanish due to the evolution
of volatile matter and char reaction in this near-burner
zone, whereas the larger particles are carried downward
while undergoing reaction. Although, the large coal
particles with diameters of 60, 80 and 100 mm move in
a regular manner, irregular deviating motions are evident
for the coal particles with diameters of 20 and 40 mm,
particularly in the zone of z ¼ 0:5 2 1:5 m in the furnace.
In particular, the number of 40 mm coal particles clearly
becomes low after passing through this zone. This is
attributed to the fact that these particles are caught by the
recirculation flow, which appears in the central region
(arrow B in Fig. 5(b)) and their residence times in this
zone are lengthened. On the other hand, the regular
Fig. 5. Gas velocity vectors in and near the CI-a burner.
motions for the larger coal particles are due to the fact
that they have large inertias and hence are hardly affected
from the outside in the normal direction are shifted in the by the recirculation flow. As also shown in Table 3, for
azimuthal direction by swirl vanes and the swirling velocity typical pulverized coal combustion, the sum of the mass
reaches up to 30 m/s. On the other hand, Fig. 5(b) shows fractions of the coal particles with diameters of 20 and
that, as expected from the previous experiment for coal flow 40 mm is over 50%. Therefore, it can be concluded that
using NO tracer gas [2], recirculation flow can be seen in the the recirculation flow formed by the CI-a burner
region near the burner. The swirling air, which is ejected effectively increases the particle residence time in the
along the burner throat with the maximum velocity of about region near the burner.
18 m/s, is divided into upstream and downstream flows near
the side wall, and small recirculation flow around the burner 4.2. Distributions of gas temperature and concentrations
(arrow A) and large recirculation flow in the central region of chemical species
along the z-axis (arrow B) are formed. This recirculation
behavior can be seen more clearly in Fig. 6, which shows the Figs. 8 and 9 show the computed and experimentally
contour plot of the streamwise gas velocity near the burner. obtained contour plots and axial distributions of gas
In the region near the burner at z , 1:5 m, the streamwise temperature and chemical species mole fractions.
gas velocity is high in the vicinity of the side wall, whereas Overall, the calculated contour plots (the gas temperature
that in the central region indicates a negative value. The CI- and the O2 and CO mole fractions) and axial distributions
a burner was designed so that the large recirculation flow (the gas temperature and the O2 mole fraction) are in
forming in the central region lengthens the residence time of agreement with the measurements [3], although there are
pulverized coal particles in the high-temperature field, some quantitative discrepancies, for example, the pre-
which accelerates the evolution of volatile matter and the dicted gas temperature rises earlier and higher, the O2
progress of char reaction. mole fraction shows larger values around the region just
To verify the above concept, the coal particle after the position where staged combustion air is injected
distribution near the burner at z # 2:0 m in the furnace ðz ¼ 3:0 mÞ; and the CO mole fraction shows smaller
is shown in Fig. 7. The trajectories for 50 typical coal values throughout the region.
R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703 699

Fig. 7. Distributions of coal particles with different diameters.

The differences of gas temperature and CO mole fraction is considered to be due to the inlet condition of
fraction are attributed to the models used for coal the staged combustion air and the limitation of the RNG
devolatilization (Eqs. (7) and (8)) and gaseous combus- k – 1 turbulent model [6,7]. That is, it is possible that
tion (Eqs. (9) and (10)), whereas that of the O2 mole the maximum velocity of the injected air is less than

Fig. 8. Computed and experimental contour plots of gas temperature and O2 and CO mole fractions.
700 R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703

4.3. Distribution of NO concentration

As mentioned previously, since NOx formation models


are typically employed in a post-processing fashion [9],
the NO concentration is calculated on the basis of the
distributions of the gas temperature and the concentrations
of the major chemical species obtained above. Although, NO
includes thermal NO and fuel NO, fuel NO accounts for
75– 95% of the total NO in coal combustors. Hence, it is
much more important to precisely predict the amount of fuel
NO. As shown in Fig. 4, the fuel NO is formed from volatile
N and char N. The conversion rates for the gas phase
reactions [arrow (8)] are given by [21]
d
½X  ¼ n1 2 n2 ð14Þ
dt NO
d
½X  ¼ n2 ð15Þ
dt N2
!
E
n1 ¼ Ano;1 XHCN XOf 2 exp 2 no;1 ð16Þ
RTg
!
Eno;2
n2 ¼ Ano;2 XHCN XNO exp 2 ; ð17Þ
RTg

where Xi is the mole fraction of chemical species i (– ), and


Ano;i and Eno;i are the pre-exponential factor (1/s) and
activation energy (J/mol). The order f in Eq. (16) varies with
the O2 mole fraction [21]. On the other hand, the rate of
formation of NO from char N, SNO;CH (kg/s), (arrow (9))
is expressed as [21,22]
SNO;CH ¼ SC mN;CH Fc h; ð18Þ

Fig. 9. Computed and experimental axial distributions of gas temperature where SC is the mass combustion rate of char given using
and O2, H2O and CO2 mole fractions. Eq. (11) (kg/s), mN;CH is the mass fraction of nitrogen in char
( –), Fc is the degree of char burnout (– ) and h is the
coal-dependent efficiency factor of the conversion of char N
to NO (–).
the experimental value [3] because the velocity profile is For the prediction of the NO concentration in the furnace
not set for flow in the ports, and that the numerical equipped with advanced low-NOx burners such as the CI-a
method using the RNG k – 1 turbulent model [6,7] burner, it is also essential to simulate NO reduction. NO
overestimates the swirl strength, which prevents the air reduction models for pulverized coal combustion have been
(O2) from reaching the central region in the furnace. proposed and studied by some researchers [24 – 29].
However, the essential characteristics of an extremely Levy et al. [23] developed the following NO reduction
low-O2 zone near the burner is simulated well. model for char burning
A comparison of the distributions of the coal particles  
d E
in Fig. 7 and the gas temperature in Fig. 8(a) shows that ½NO ¼ Are exp 2 re AE PNO ; ð19Þ
the region of high particle number density, where the dt RT
coal particles are caught by the recirculation flow and where [NO] is the NO mole fraction (mol), AE is the external
their residence time is long, corresponds closely to the surface area of char (m2/g), and PNO is NO partial pressure
region of high gas temperature. This coincidence (atm). Are and Ere are the pre-exponential factor ((g mol)/
promotes the evolution of volatile matter and char (m2 s atm)) and activation energy (J/mol), respectively (this
reaction of the coal particles and produces the extremely NO reduction model is incorporated into the original
low-O2 zone. STAR-CD code as a user subroutine). In the Levy et al.’s
Fig. 9(b) shows that the O2, H2O and CO2 mole fractions experiment [23], AE was measured using N2 BET and the
remain almost constant after the injection of staged furnace temperature was T: However, since it is difficult to
combustion air at z $ 4:0 m. give these values in the simulations, AE is calculated under
R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703 701

Table 4
Original values of pre-exponential factor and activation energy in Eqs. (16),
(17) and (19)

Ai (1/s) Ei (J/mol)

Eq. (16) 1.0 £ 1010 6.7 £ 104


Eq. (17) 3.0 £ 1012 6.0 £ 104
Eq. (19) 4.18 £ 104 3.47 £ 104

the assumption that the char particles are spherical without


any pores and the gas temperature Tg is used as T:
In conducting the computations, besides the pre-
exponential factors and the activation energies in
Eqs. (16), (17) and (19), whose original values are listed
in Table 4, the ratio k of char N to total N ( ¼ char N/
(char N þ volatile matter N), see Fig. 4), and the
conversion of char N to NO, h; in Eq. (18) are required.
Because of the difficulty of determining these values, k
is set at zero in many computations under the assumption
that all fuel NO is formed from volatile N. In the present
study, the pre-exponential factor for NO reduction Are
(Eq. (19)) is varied and compared with the measured
value [3], and the effects of k and h are investigated.
Table 5 shows the cases examined and the area-averaged
NO mole fraction at the furnace exit Xex;NO (ppm).
Here, k ¼ 0 for Case A means that all fuel NO is formed
from volatile N, and the value of k ¼ 0:67 for case B
corresponds to the mass ratio of fixed carbon to the sum Fig. 10. Computed and experimental contour plots of NO mole fraction.
of the fixed carbon and volatile matter (Table 1). On the
k ¼ 0:67 is closer to the experimental value [3] than that
other hand, although the value of h is considered to be
for k ¼ 0:
associated with char burnout and the equivalence ratio,
Figs. 10 and 11 show the calculated and experimental
the detailed behavior has not yet been elucidated.
contour plots and axial distributions of NO mole fraction.
However, Nelson et al. [30] recently stated that the
Here, the pre-exponential factor for NO reduction Are
overall fractional conversion of 0.5 ^ 0.1 for an
(Eq. (19)) and the ratio of char N to total N, k; are varied (the
equivalence ratio of f ¼ 1:0 presents a reasonable
conversion of char N to NO h is fixed at 0.5). For all cases,
summary of the experimental data, and that the value
the NO mole fraction apparently decreases in the low-O2
increases for f , 1 and decreases for f . 1: Therefore,
zone of z ¼ 2:0 – 3:0 m; which supports the validity of the
cases for h ¼ 0:5 (A1, A2, B1, B2) and those for smaller
NO reduction model. Although, the profiles of cases A1 and
and larger values of h ¼ 0:2 and 0.8 (B3, B4) are
considered. The experimental value of the area-averaged B1 with the original value of Are ( ¼ 4.18 £ 104 (1/s))
NO mole fraction at the furnace exit, Xex;NO ¼ 210; [3] are much lower through the whole area and fail to reproduce
lies between the values for case B2 for h ¼ 0:5 the experimental results [3], they tend to approach the
ðXex;NO ¼ 150Þ and case B4 for h ¼ 0:8 ðXex;NO ¼ 230Þ: experimental values [3] as the value of Are is lowered to
It is found that as Are decreases and h increases, the 4.0 £ 102 (1/s). This may be attributed to the differences in
predicted value tends to increase, and that the value for the given external surface area of char particles AE and
temperature T in Eq. (19) between this computation and
Table 5
Levy et al.’s experiment [23], as shown above.
Cases and area-averaged NO mole fraction at the furnace exit On the other hand, judging from the difference in the
axial NO distribution in Fig. 11, the computation with k ¼ 0
Case Are (1/s) k (–) h (–) Xex;NO (ppm)
seems to give better NO prediction than that with k ¼ 0:67
A1 4.18 £ 104 0 0.5 3.8
because the profile of case B2 decreases to nearly zero
A2 4.0 £ 102 0 0.5 41 around the staged combustion air ports and then increases
B1 4.18 £ 104 0.67 0.5 5.9 again, whereas that of case A2 monotonically approaches a
B2 4.0 £ 102 0.67 0.5 150 constant value; this trend is similar to that of the experiment
B3 4.0 £ 102 0.67 0.2 72
[3]. However, the area-averaged NO mole fraction at the
B4 4.0 £ 102 0.67 0.8 230
furnace exit Xex;NO for case B2 is closer to the experimental
702 R. Kurose et al. / Fuel 83 (2004) 693–703

Consequently, the formation of NO from char N must be


taken into consideration in order to predict the overall
distribution of the NO mole fraction in the present furnace.
The effect of the conversion of char N to NO, h; in
Eq. (18) on the axial distribution of the NO mole fraction is
shown in Fig. 12 (Are ¼ 4:0 £ 102 (1/s) k ¼ 0:67 (– )).
The difference in the NO mole fraction becomes evident in
the downstream region after the injection of staged
combustion air at z . 4:0 m, and the value tends to increase
with increasing h at a fixed streamwise distance z.

Fig. 11. Computed and experimental axial distributions of NO mole


5. Conclusions
fraction.
The characteristics of pulverized coal combustion in a
test furnace equipped with the CI-a burner developed by
value [3] than that for case A2 (Table 5). Moreover, in the CRIEPI and IHI were numerically investigated. It was
experiment [3], the NO concentration after the staged verified that recirculation flow is formed in the upstream
combustion air ports was found to be higher in the outer high-gas-temperature region near the CI-a burner outlet,
region than in the central region (although the NO contour and this lengthens the residence time of coal particles in the
plot for z . 3:0 m is not shown here due to lack of data, high-temperature region, promotes the evolution of volatile
the NO mole fractions at z ¼ 4:2 m are 230 ppm at r ¼ 0 m matter and the progress of char reaction, and produces an
and 260 ppm at r ¼ 0:3 m; respectively). This trend agrees extremely low-O2 zone for effective NO reduction.
well with that computed for case B2. The reason why the NO In addition, the validities of the existing NOx formation
mole fraction for case B2 indicated a low value around the models for the combustion fields produced by the CI-a
staged combustion air ports is considered to be associated burner were examined. It was found that, by lessening
with the value of the O2 mole fraction in this zone. As shown the effect of NO reduction in Levy et al.’s model and taking
in Fig. 9(b), the predicted O2 mole fraction in this zone is the NO formation from char N into consideration, the
lower than that in the experiment [3] due to the inlet velocity accuracy of the NO prediction was improved. Also,
condition of the staged combustion air and the limitation of the efficiency factor of the conversion of char N to NO
the RNG k – 1 turbulent model [6,7]. Hence, the NO affects the total NO concentration downstream after
production, which tends to increase with increasing O2 injection of the staged combustion air.
mole fraction, is considered to be suppressed. It is also
observed that the NO distribution for A2 and B2 almost
coincide with each other in the upstream region of z , 2 m Acknowledgements
despite the difference in k: This is considered to be because
much of the NO formation from char N takes place in this The authors are indebted to Mr M. Kimoto, Dr H. Tsuji
region due to the long particle residence time in the and Mr M. Ikeda of CRIEPI for their help in providing the
high-gas-temperature region and that the NO reduction experimental data. The authors also would like to thank Mr
mechanism acts to balance the NO concentration. M. Sato of CD-adapco JAPAN CO., LTD for the many
helpful discussions.

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