(273f) A CFD Model-Based Optimization of a Low NOx Burner in Integrated Process System

Although process burners are frequently used in many industries such as refeinring, petrochemical and chemical processes, there is a serious concern about emission control of these equipment. Recently, the deveopment of new numerical approaches such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has led to significant improvements in emission control of industrial processes. The proper analysis and testing leads to more efficient combustion, less physical testing and lower cost for full scale equipment burners.

In this study, we used CFD simulations to design, develop and optimize a low NOx burner which produces heat for methane steam reforming. The CFD method helped to design a burner with angled air holes arranged in a swirl pattern. This optimized design increased the mixing near the burner plate that led to lower peak flame temperature and therefore lower NOx emissions. The designed burner was built and experimentally tested and showed a major NOx reduction in steam reforming hydrogen generation process. In addition, reformer performance improved significantly due to the better temperature distribution by the new CFD­ optimized burner.