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Journal of Combustion
Volume 2015, Article ID 793683, 15 pages
Research Article

Assessing the Role of Particles in Radiative Heat Transfer during Oxy-Combustion of Coal and Biomass Blends

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of North Dakota, 241 Centennial Drive, Stop 7101, Grand Forks, ND 58201, USA

Received 30 November 2014; Accepted 29 January 2015

Academic Editor: Constantine D. Rakopoulos

Copyright © 2015 Gautham Krishnamoorthy and Caitlyn Wolf. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study assesses the required fidelities in modeling particle radiative properties and particle size distributions (PSDs) of combusting particles in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) investigations of radiative heat transfer during oxy-combustion of coal and biomass blends. Simulations of air and oxy-combustion of coal/biomass blends in a 0.5 MW combustion test facility were carried out and compared against recent measurements of incident radiative fluxes. The prediction variations to the combusting particle radiative properties, particle swelling during devolatilization, scattering phase function, biomass devolatilization models, and the resolution (diameter intervals) employed in the fuel PSD were assessed. While the wall incident radiative flux predictions compared reasonably well with the experimental measurements, accounting for the variations in the fuel, char and ash radiative properties were deemed to be important as they strongly influenced the incident radiative fluxes and the temperature predictions in these strongly radiating flames. In addition, particle swelling and the diameter intervals also influenced the incident radiative fluxes primarily by impacting the particle extinction coefficients. This study highlights the necessity for careful selection of particle radiative property, and diameter interval parameters and the need for fuel fragmentation models to adequately predict the fly ash PSD in CFD simulations of coal/biomass combustion.