Numerical Simulations and Experiments of Ignition of Solid Particles in a Laminar Burner: Effects of Slip Velocity and Particle Swelling

Antonio Attili*, Pooria Farmand, Christoph Schumann, Sima Farazi, Benjamin Böhm, Tao Li, Christopher Geschwindner, Jan Köser, Andreas Dreizler, Heinz Pitsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ignition and combustion of pulverized solid fuel is investigated in a laminar burner. The two-dimensional OH radical field is measured in the experiments, providing information on the first onset of ignition and a detailed characterization of the flame structure for the single particle. In addition, particle velocity and diameter are tracked in time in the experiments. Simulations are carried out with a Lagrangian point-particle approach fully coupled with an Eulerian solver for the gas-phase, which includes detailed chemistry and transport. The numerical simulation results are compared with the experimental measurements in order to investigate the ignition characteristics. The effect of the slip velocity, i.e. the initial velocity difference between the gas-phase and the particle, is investigated numerically. For increasing slip velocity, the ignition delay time decreases. For large slip velocities, the decrease in ignition delay time is found to saturate to a value which is about 40% smaller than the ignition delay time at zero slip velocity. Performing a simulation neglecting the dependency of the Nusselt number on the slip velocity, it is found that this dependency does not play a role. On the contrary, it is found that the decrease of ignition delay time induced by the slip velocity is due to modifications of the temperature field around the particle. In particular, the low-temperature fluid related to the energy sink due to particle heating is transported away from the particle position when the slip velocity is non-zero; therefore, the particle is exposed to larger temperatures. Finally, the effect of particle swell is investigated using a model for the particle swelling based on the CPD framework. With this model, we observed negligible differences in ignition delay time compared to the case in which swelling is not included. This is related to the negligible swelling predicted by this model before ignition. However, this is inconsistent with the experimental measurements of particle diameter, showing a significant increase of diameter even before ignition. In further simulations, the measured swelling was directly prescribed, using an analytical fit at the given conditions. With this approach, it is found that the inclusion of swelling reduces the ignition delay time by about 20% for small particles while it is negligible for large particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-531
Number of pages17
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number2
Early online date26 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2020


  • Coal combustion
  • CPD
  • Experiment
  • Numerical simulartion


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