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Numerical simulation of metal particle combustion

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Required Education : Master ou Ecole d'ingénieur
Start date : 1 October 2020
Mission duration : 3 ans
Deadline for applications : 28 August 2020
Salary : 2475 Euros brut mensuel


Metal powder is a very energetic material, which may be used as a fuel. However it has been largely neglected up to now, as obviously gas or liquid fuel burning is much easier to enforce. However combustion of metal particles has recently gained attention as a potential zero-emission, 100% renewable energy.  Indeed metal powders may be easily collected after oxidation and fully recycled with solar or wind energy. However metal as a fuel requires developing new technical concepts for industrial application, and numerical simulation is a critical tool to progress in this field. Unfortunately the accurate modelling of metal particle combustion for use in current CFD solvers is missing and needs to be developed. This is the main objective of the present PhD project that is part of the H2020 Center of Excellence in Combustion (COEC) project starting in October 2020. The COEC project gathers 11 European labs for 3 years and aims to contributing to the decarbonisation of the European power and transportation sectors by developing advanced high-fidelity numerical methods and adapted HPC solutions.


Work Program:

An accurate model for metal powder burning will be developed and implemented in the code AVBP of CERFACS. AVBP already includes a particles solver, and efforts will be put on the physico-chemical processes of burning particles, as well as the behavior of the burning metal powder, taking into account interactions between particles. In particular, the feasibility of sustainable combustion of pure metal powders, i.e., without addition of gaseous fuel, must be investigated. The model will be based and validated on both experimental data and results from 3D direct numerical simulations from the literature.

In a first step after a bibliographic study on the combustion of metal powders, the work will be devoted to the burning process of an individual metal particle in quiescent flow and in a flow stream. Then the combustion regime of metal powders will be studied and characterized, depending on the powder density, particle size distribution, etc. Finally Large Eddy Simulation of a turbulent metal powder flame will be performed and analyzed.