American Society of Civil Engineers

CFD For Simulation of Crosswind on the Efficiency of High Momentum Jet Turbulent Combustion Flames

by David Castiñeira, (Grad. Res. Asst., Dept. of Chemical Engrg., Univ. of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C0400, Austin, TX 78712-0231. E-mail: and Thomas F. Edgar, (corresponding author), (Prof., Dept. of Chem. Engrg., Univ. of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station CO400, Austin, TX 78712-0231 E-mail:

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 7, July 2008, pp. 561-571, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Industrial flares have been identified as a potential major source of hydrocarbon emissions from chemical and petrochemical plants in the Gulf Coast area. Several studies have shown that crosswind may compromise the expected 98% efficiency level of these units. In order to understand the key variables in flare operation, a 3D simulation has been performed to predict the effect of crosswind on the efficiency of high momentum, turbulent combustion flames by using the commercial software Fluent 6.2. First, a CH4+ air flame was simulated for quiescent conditions and temperature and concentration profiles were compared to experimental data. Simulations were then performed to study how combustion efficiency may be affected by increasing the crosswind velocity. We have also analyzed the effect of crosswind at higher jet velocities. Our results show that high momentum flames are more sensitive to the crosswind problem as the jet velocity increases. The ultimate goal of this model is to obtain a quantitative understanding of how crosswind may affect the operation of industrial flares, a major source of highly reactive volatile organic compound emissions from chemical and petrochemical plants.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Industrial wastes