Numerical simulation of the flue gas side of refining vacuum furnace using CFD

XuegangLi, LuhongZhang, YongliSun, BinJiang, XingangLi, JunWang

School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People׳s Republic of China

Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People׳s Republic of China

National Engineering Research Centre of Distillation Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People׳s Republic of China


  • A 3-D CFD model was developed for a refining vacuum furnace.
  • The flue gas flow, temperature and NO mass concentration fields were predicted.
  • A comparative simulation case with larger excess air coefficient was carried out.
  • The calculated results were compared with industrial values.


In this work, we aimed to predict the flue gas side performance of a refining vacuum furnace with floor gas burners. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach was employed to simulate the flow, combustion, heat transfer and NO emission. Detailed insights into the flue gas velocity, temperature field and NO mass concentration distribution were obtained with the aid of velocity vectors and contour snapshots. The standard k-ε model was applied to turbulence simulation. The non-premixed turbulent flames and NO emission were predicted using the Laminar Flamelet model. The discrete transfer model (DTM) was applied to the radiative heat transfer simulation. Comparative simulation cases were carried out to investigate the effect of excess air amount on the flue gas temperature distribution and NO emission. Calculations were performed using the commercial packages ANSYS CFX 14.0.


CFD; Refining vacuum furnace; Radiation simulation; Combustion simulation

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