Assessment of biomass ignition potential and behavior using a cost-effective CFD approach

Jakub Mularski, Jun Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper utilizes a CFD approach to study the ignition of pulverized biomass particles. Ignition is a critical parameter in a reactor’s design and process efficiency, and a reliable and relatively quick method of its determination is a necessity. CFD is a well-established tool that has already proved credible in many combustion/gasification applications, and for that reason, its application in ignition-related studies should be paramount. In this research, an Eulerian-Lagrangian approach is used where key stages during biomass combustion such as inert heating, evaporation, devolatilization, gas-phase kinetics, char conversion, particle transport, and radiative transport are considered. The predictions of the model are verified against experimentally measured ignition data from the literature and are found to be in good agreement. The ignition delay is determined by monitoring the concentrations of OH (hydroxyl) and CH (methyl) radicals. It is concluded that using OH species as ignition indicator allowed reproducing the delay better for lower temperatures, whereas, for temperatures above 1600 K, CH species was found to be more accurate. The CFD approach was eventually found reasonable and relatively fast in ignition delay predictions enabling its wider use in industrial applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130637
Number of pages12
Early online date19 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • biomass ignition
  • CFD
  • ignition delay
  • combustion


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