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Facts At Your Fingertips Industrial Gas Burners Department Editor: Scott Jenkins fombustion in industrial burn- ers is a critical operation in the ‘chemical process industries (CP) for supplying thermal energy ‘for heat transfer, fluid heating, steam generation, distilation, endothermic chemical reactions, metal melting and others. Burners are mechanical devio- es utiized for mixing proper quantities of fuel and air, and also for maintaining a stable flame inside fred equipment. Included here are brief descriptions of key aspects of industrial bumer com- ponents and operation, Fuel-air mix Industrial process burners can be Classified in several ways, including the type of fusl-air mixing invoked (diffusion or premixing) Raw-gas bumers are used for most appiications. In these burners, the fuel gas passes through orifices in the gas tip and is injected directly into the combustion zone, where it mixes with air. A stabilizer cone is lo- cated just below the gas to improve combustion stability, These burners are suitable for mounting in plenum chambers (the area where air enters the burner), and can be used with preheated combustion at. Pre-mix burners are those in which fuel and air are mixed prior to com- bustion. Pre-mix bumers are some- times used in specialized applica- tions. In these burners, the kinetic energy made available by the ex- pansion of the fuel gas through the fuel-gas orice introduces about half of the combustion air (called primary ait) into the Venturi mixer. This: mix- ture then exits through a large bumer tip, where itis mixed with the balance of the combustion air (secondary at). This secondary airflow enters the bburmer through the outer, secondary air register. Premix bumers require less furnace draft than raw-gas burn- ers. Premix burners can produce a wide range of flame shapes. Reducing NOx Combustion operations frequently create nitrogen oxides (NOx), spe- Gifically NO-and NO2, which must Fl ie Fal be highly controlled, as they can be harmful pollutants. Currently, three burner configuration methods exist for reducing nitrogen oxides in bur- fers: staged air, staged fuel and inter- nal fluegas recirculation combined with staged air or staged fuel ‘Staged air burners. These types of burners work by introducing 100% of the fuel into the burner and only part of the combustion air (primary air, thus oreating a sub-stoichiometric flame. This flame has a reduced tem- perature and therefore inhibits NOx formation. The flame is completed with the addition of the secondary air to complete the combustion pro- ‘cass. This process allows for greater control at lower burner loads and also accommodates a wider range of fuels. Staged fuel burners. This burner method introduces 100% of the ‘combustion air into the burner and spits the fuel supply into primary and secondary volumes (Figure). The pri- maty fuel mixes with the combustion air to create a flame. As with staged air burners, the peak flame tempera- ture is lower, and NOx formation is reduced. Secondary fuel is added to ‘complete the combustion process. ‘Staged fuel burners provide greater NOx reduction, as the fuel supply has a larger effect on NOx forma- tion. This method is more commonly used when a consistent fuel supply is available. Internal fluegas recirculation burn- ers. This method combines either staged air or staged fuel with internal fluegas recirculation to help reduce NOx formation. The best results are obtained where internal fluegas re- Circulation is used to dilute the fuel gas in a staged fuel burner, creating gas with a low calorific value. Flame size The size of the burner flame is an im- portant parameter in controling the heat transfer to tubes in the furnace The flame size and shape should be such that the tubes impingement of the flame upon the tubes they are heating is avoided. Maximum flame diameter can be calculated using Equation (1). J D, (a) Dr may = Maximum flame dia., f L¢= Flame length, f SVjamo = Specitic volume of flame, feb SVuet + ai = Specific volume of fuel and air mixture, f9/b Vp= Flame propagation velocity, fs where: Maximum burner length can be calculated from Equation (2) DLW, ones, =3.14 Ye 2 The diameter of the bumer flame should be evaluated at maximum bumer-flame length, Burner spacing ‘Bumer spacing is normally 2 to 5 ft, or sufficient to provide reasonable burn- er-to-burner clearance, as based on ‘the maximum burner-fiame diameter. Bumer-to-tube clearance must also be such that minimum clearance Is based on a reasonable distance be- tween burner outside-flame diameter and outside diameter of the tubular heating surfaces. 7 Editor's note: The cont peered ne olin as adzoed tome ‘Coss ln rod Hea Bune Petomance, Chon. Eng, At 2008, cp 44-47 ad ALHej, MH, Bune ston and Mantra, Chem Eng, Novoriot 2014, 93 40-45 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHEMENGONLINECOM JULY 2016