Parametric sensitivity study of a CFD-based coal combustion model



Parametric sensitivity of a two-dimensional pulverized-fuel (PF) combustion model is studied extensively for the effect of parametric uncertainty on model predictions. Results show that error in coal devolatilization/oxidation parameters has the dominant effect on predicted burnout, NOx formation, local gas temperature, and coal-gas mixture fraction. Uncertainty in the turbulent particle dispersion parameters appears to have a secondary effect, while error in the particle-gas radiation parameters has little impact on model predictions. Regions of the computational domain exhibiting sensitivity to specific parameters are identified. Specific parameter sensitivity implies the relative importance of various mechanisms in the overall process. Turbulent particle dispersion seems to be important early in the reactor with kinetic processes dominating at and following the predicted ignition point. Radiation appears to be of minor importance. These results indicate the need for a better method of predicting the overall volatiles yield and further understanding of the devolatilization/oxidation mechanism and its role in the overall PF combustion process. The study provides fundamental direction for future comprehensive model development and focuses on experimental work to better quantify critical input parameters.