Computational Modeling and Field Validation of Advanced Thermal System for Energy, Carbon and NOx Reduction

23 November 2021 • 10–11 a.m. EST

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Most major corporations are implementing strict policies to eliminate or reduce the carbon and NOx emissions from fossil fuel–fired thermal manufacturing processes. The used of advanced thermal ceramic designs, computational combustion modeling and additive manufacturing provide extreme flexibility in simultaneously achieving efficiency improvements and emissions reduction. Computational modeling, laboratory testing and field validations will be presented showing efficiency gains of 85% with simultaneous NOx reduction of 15% to 50%.

1. Additive Manufacturing of Advanced Thermal Designs
Increasing energy efficiency reduces carbon emissions, but often at the price of increased NOx emissions that impacts the ozone layer. The use of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, can be used to both effectively design advanced heat exchangers and retrofit low-NOx combustion devices in radiant tube and direct-fired combustion systems. The use of twisted tape and twist channel designs to increase both heat transfer surface area and coefficients will be presented. Efficiency gains from state-of-the-industry 70% to 85% can be realized. Furthering the used of additive manufactured advanced silicon carbide, a novel high-temperature flame splitting device will be discussed. NOx reductions on the order of 50% will be shown.

2. Computational Optimization of High Pre-Heat Combustion for Efficiency and NOx
Traditional methods of NOx reduction in combustion systems are generally limited to low-NOx burners (LNBs) utilized in combination with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or selective catalytic reduction using urea or ammonia injection. This presentation will discuss novel retrofit approaches using inserts to reduce NOx by managing combustion directly within the flame envelope. Advanced computational modeling converging both fluid flow, heat transfer and combustion simultaneously are used to optimize insert configurations and adapt the solution for specific burners. Examples will be shown where such strategies provide up to 50% NOx reduction with both traditional burner designs as well as LNBs utilizing EGR.

3. Laboratory and Field Validation for Energy, Carbon, and NOx Reduction
Even the most sophisticated computational models require feedback from both laboratory and field trials to refine the models accuracy. A stepwise method of applying additive manufactured advanced silicon carbide — twisted tape inserts, twisted channel heat exchangers and flame-splitting designs — will be presented for a radiant W-tube combustion system with a staged EGR burner. Laboratory testing was initially used to validate the computational model. After optimization, a field validation in a continuous annealing line showed combined energy reductions on the order of 20% with 15% direct NOx reduction. Secondary benefits of improved temperature uniformity and radiant tube heat release were observed. The results clearly demonstrate the ability to apply advanced heat exchanger technology for energy and carbon reduction while reducing NOx level.

Speaker Information:

  1. Tom Briselden, Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics and Refractories
    Tom Briselden is the global director of new business for Saint-Gobain’s Performance Ceramics and Refractories group. He works with the largest steel producers in the world to help reduce energy and emissions using advanced thermal ceramics, computational modeling and additive manufactured advanced silicon carbide. Briselden taught heat transfer, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics at The Pennsylvania State University for 10 years. Concurrently, he started a spinoff company, Spinworks, which, to date, supplied energy savings components to the steel industry with a cumulative 2-trillion-BTU-per-year impact and equivalent 117,000 tons of CO2. Spinworks was acquired by Saint-Gobain in 2017 and is continuing to accelerate the adoption of energy and emissions reducing technology for thermal manufacturing processes

  2. Brad Nakanishi, Saint-Gobain Research Center, North America
    Bradley Nakanishi has been with Saint-Gobain for three years. He manages R&D activities for Total Burner Solutions (TBS) and supports deployment of TBS technologies to new and existing process heating applications. He holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  3. Yunsik Jung, POSCO 
    Yunsik Jung received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and has been working with POSCO for 17 years. Since 2004, he has served as team leader. Yunsik has been a customer for Saint-Gobain for Total Burner Solutions and other refractories solutions.


Sponsored by:

Organized by:
AIST’s Galvanizing Technology Committee