Mathematical Analysis and Thermal Modelling of a Pilot-Scale Pyrolysis Gas Furnace
Keywords:pyrolysis, gas-fired furnace, modelling, thermal boundary, heat transfer
A numerical model for the thermal operations directly related to all significant heat and mass transfer within a designed furnace chamber was developed, taking into consideration the surface area of the internal structures and surrounding furnace walls of the furnace. Some specific sets of theories on the internal and external flow of heat energy in furnaces as well as boilers were adopted and modified to exhibit a steady state condition model for the designed gas-fired pyrolytic furnace. Existing thermal models were selected and adjusted to arrive at a unique mathematical model that was used to analyse and verify the heat distribution at different regions of the built pyrolytic furnace with the aid of the basic principles of heat and mass transfer and the associated assumptions. The distinctive numerical model formed the basis for the MATLAB Simulink program used to validate the experimental data gotten from runs of heating and cooling of the pyrolytic furnace during operation. The result of the simulated behaviour of the furnace achieved a fit to the estimation of the data of 87.16% in correlation with the real experimental data. This established a thermal function that can be used as a model for potential optimisation of the pyrolysis process of the pilot furnace.