Encyclopaedia Index
Rotary kiln for particulate refuse


BY : Dr S V Zhubrin, CHAM Ltd

DATE : November, 2000

FOR : Demonstration case for PHOENICS 3.3.1


A model for the simulation of the flow, heat and mass transfer in the rotary kiln is presented aimed at the simulation of the relevant physicochemical phenomena taking place in refuse particle combustion.


Geometry and the problem

The rotary kiln in question is an idealised one retaining, however, the major features of a real-life system. It consists of a steel well insulated rotating cylinder inclined to horizontal.

One part of the fuel (refuse) solid particles are injected into the airstream of the main burner located at the center of the front wall of the rotary kiln. The second part of refuse particles of higher volume fraction is fed into the sludge burner located just beneath the main burner. In the sloping chamber of sludge burner the particles are mixed with the air before entering the kiln at the angle to the side wall in the gravity direction.

The thermal design task is to calculate the field distribution of phase velocities, gas/particle volume fractions, gas mixture composition and phase temperatures.


Conservation equations

The independent variables of the problem are the three components of cylindrical polar coordinate system.

The main dependent (solved for) variables are:

Combustion model

The 7GASES model is used to simulate the combustion of refuse particles with the gas phase absorbing the carbon from the particles.

The effective (ie laminar-plus-turbulent) diffusion coefficients of the gaseous species are all taken as equal, and the reaction rates are supposed diffusion-limited; consequently all gas species concentrations depend on carbon mass fraction, in piecewise-linear fashion.

The oxidation of carbon is presumed to proceed in two stages, viz:


The gas-phase equilibrium-composition diagram, taking account of the elemental mass fractions of O, C and H, is used to calculate the combustion product composition.

Properties and auxiliary relations

The gas density is computed from the local pressures, gas temperatures and local mixture molecular masses.

The specific enthalpies are related to gas and fines temperatures.



At all inlets, values are given of all dependent variables together with the prescribed flow rates.


Fixed exit pressure. As the fluid is assumed incompressible, this pressure is set equal to zero and the computed pressures are relative to this pressure.

At impermeable walls.

The smooth-wall 'wall functions' are used to provide the non-slip conditions for momentum equations.

It is assumed that there is no heat exchange to the wall, ie. an adiabatic boundary conditions are employed.


The plots show the flow distribution, mixture composition as represented by the model, gas temperature and velocity within the rotary kiln.

Pictures are as follows :


All model settings have been made in VR-Editor of PHOENICS 3.3.1.

The relevant Q1 file can be inspected by clicking here.