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Archives of Thermodynamics

The Journal of Committee on Thermodynamics and Combustion of Polish Academy of Sciences

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Modeling of heat and mass transfer during thermal decomposition of a single solid fuel particle

Izabela Wardach-Święcicka
  • Corresponding author
  • The Szewalski Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery Polish Academy of Sciences, Fiszera 14, 80-231 Gdańsk, Poland
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Dariusz Kardaś
  • The Szewalski Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery Polish Academy of Sciences, Fiszera 14, 80-231 Gdańsk, Poland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-07-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/aoter-2013-0010


The aim of this work was to investigate the heat and mass transfer during thermal decomposition of a single solid fuel particle. The problem regards the pyrolysis process which occurs in the absence of oxygen in the first stage of fuel oxidation. Moreover, the mass transfer during heating of the solid fuels is the basic phenomenon in the pyrolysis-derived alternative fuels (gas, liquid and solid phase) and in the gasification process which is focused on the generation of syngas (gas phase) and char (solid phase). Numerical simulations concern pyrolysis process of a single solid particle which occurs as a consequence of the particle temperature increase. The research was aimed at an analysis of the influence of particle physical properties on the devolatilization process. In the mathematical modeling the fuel grain is treated as an ideal sphere which consists of porous material (solid and gaseous phase), so as to simplify the final form of the partial differential equations. Assumption that the physical properties change only in the radial direction, reduces the partial derivatives of the angular coordinates. This leads to obtaining the equations which are only the functions of the radial coordinate. The model consists of the mass, momentum and energy equations for porous spherical solid particle heated by the stream of hot gas. The mass source term was determined in the wide range of the temperature according to the experimental data. The devolatilization rate was defined by the Arrhenius formula. The results of numerical simulation show that the heating and devolatilization time strongly depend on the physical properties of fuel. Moreover, proposed model allows to determine the pyrolysis process direction, which is limited by the equilibrium state.

Keywords : Fuel particle; Devolatilization; Pyrolysis; Heat and mass transfer

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-07-05

Published in Print: 2013-06-01

Citation Information: Archives of Thermodynamics, Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 53–71, ISSN (Online) 2083-6023, ISSN (Print) 1231-0956, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/aoter-2013-0010.

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