Large-Eddy Simulation of two secondary air supply strategies in kraft recovery boilers

Alpo Laitinen*, Erkki Laurila, Karri Keskinen, Ville Vuorinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Kraft recovery boilers are large scale combustion applications operating on black liquor, a common side-product of the pulp industry. Here, a simplified boiler model utilizing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) with Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) and Lagrangian Particle Tracking (LPT) is explored to better understand the secondary air supply system and the dispersion of sprayed droplets. The unsteady nature of the air jets and droplet dispersion in such context advocates the usage of scale-resolving simulations such as LES. In the present exploratory study, the usage of LES in recovery boiler air jet simulations is piloted for the first time. The air supply system is modeled as high-momentum-flux jets injected to a uniform cross-flow. First, the set-up was verified by performing a mesh sensitivity study. The main observed global flow features included the mixing zones, wall jet and jet impact regions, jet bending in cross-flow, and reverse flow downstream of the jets. Two different engineering relevant air supply systems, a staggered and an in-line configuration, were studied and compared in terms of mixing and droplet dispersion. The main findings of the present study are as follows. First, out of the two studied configurations, the staggered one was observed to provide a more uniform downstream temperature field. Second, the in-line configuration was noted to outperform the staggered configuration in droplet dispersion by having 22% less spray-wall impingement and 15% more droplets landing at the bottom of the furnace. Third, different modes for droplet trajectories were identified based on the global flow structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119035
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Air jets
  • Black liquor
  • Large-Eddy Simulation
  • Mixing


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