The combustion process occurring in industrial gas burners is controlled by physical phenomena such as turbulent flow, the mixing of fuel and air, and radiative and convective heat transfer from the flame, as well as the chemical processes governing the conversion of fuel and air to combustion products. Several numerical computer models which simulate these processes are now available. This paper describes the basis of such modelling techniques, and illustrates their potential by presenting simulations of the combustion of natural gas in a tunnel burner carried out using the FLUENT flow simulation software package. This package uses modern computing techniques, in particular the finite difference method, to solve the equations which describe the combustion process. The numerical methods used in FLUENT provide solutions at distinct points in space through the repeated application of software routines which start with guessed or estimated initial values and progress systematically toward the required solution.
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