Reacting Flows and Combustion

Understanding and predicting the effects of reacting flows is critical to developing competitive products in diverse industries such as transportation, energy generation and materials processing. Knowing the underlying chemistry and physics enables designers of gas turbines, boilers and IC engines to increase energy efficiency and fuel flexibility and reduce emissions. Similarly, designers of high-throughput materials and chemical processes need high yields and quality, along with minimum byproducts and waste. A thorough grasp of the underlying physics and chemistry is also critical to making improvements in lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and many other products.

Simulating Reacting Flows and Combustion

Understanding and predicting the effects of reacting flows is critical to developing competitive products in the transportation, energy generation and materials processing industries, among many others. Knowledge of the underlying chemistry and physics enables designers of gas turbines, boilers and internal combustion engines to increase energy efficiency and fuel flexibility, while reducing emissions. Similarly, reacting flows are key to designing high-throughput materials and chemical processes with high yields and quality, along with minimum byproducts and waste. A thorough grasp of the underlying physics and chemistry is also critical to making improvements in lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and many other products.

Optimizing the design of these products to achieve a competitive advantage is difficult because they often consist of systems with complex geometries, boundary conditions and physics, including large networks of chemically reacting species, turbulence and radiation. Relying on physical testing alone for performance validation is not a viable option given that today’s shortened design cycles frequently do not allow multiple design and test iterations. Furthermore, the diagnostic information provided by physical testing is often limited by the inability to position sensors in areas that are key to understanding the process.

ANSYS Combustion System couples multiphysics simulations incorporating advanced physical models with an advanced chemistry solver to provide a complete end-to-end simulation capability to optimize products that involve reacting flow. You can start with fast and computationally efficient 1D and 2D modeling using tools such as Chemkin Pro and Energico.

As you gain understanding, you can move to more complex 3D models with ANSYS computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Accurate reaction mechanisms are provided by the ANSYS Model Fuel Library, a database of accurate, detailed chemical mechanisms for over 65 fuel components, representing every class of reaction important for combustion simulations. ANSYS simulation tools reduce chemistry time by orders of magnitude, virtually eliminating the bottleneck that chemistry integration produces during the simulation process. Faster time to solution makes it possible to spend more effort exploring design alternatives, conducting experiments, understanding where and why problems occur, and explaining observations without sacrificing accuracy.

Read the Reacting Flows and Combustion application brief

Most Reacting Flows are Turbulent

ANSYS Fluent CFD simulation of a piloted turbulent jet flame (Sandia Flame D benchmark) showing an instantaneous stoichiometric mixture fraction iso-surface combined with plots of temperature and OH mass fraction.

The flows encountered in most of the practical reacting systems are turbulent. In fact, energetic combustion and reaction flows create turbulence through a variety of mechanisms including flow acceleration and modified kinematic viscosity. The turbulence then can alter the flame structure through enhanced mixing and chemical reactions (through temperature fluctuations). And on it goes in a causal loop. Understanding these complex interactions is critical to obtaining accurate results. Turbulence is truly a CFD application you have to get right.

Learn more about Turbulence Modeling for CFD Simulation.