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Internal flow analysis of a porous burner via CFD

Ali H. Abdulkarim (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kirkuk, Kirkuk, Iraq)
Ali Ates (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Selcuk Universitesi, Konya, Turkey)
Kemal Altinisik (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Selcuk Universitesi, Konya, Turkey)
Eyüb Canli (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Selcuk Universitesi, Konya, Turkey)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 19 June 2019

Issue publication date: 11 September 2019



This study aims to introduce a metal porous burner design. Literature is surveyed in a comprehensive manner to relate the current design with ongoing research. A demonstrative computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis is presented with projected flow conditions by means of a common commercial CFD code and turbulence model to show the flow-related features of the proposed burner. The porous metal burner has a novel design, and it is not commercially available.


Based on the field experience about porous burners, a metal, cylindrical, two-staged, homogenous porous burner was designed. Literature was surveyed to lay out research aspects for the porous burners and porous media. Three dimensional solid computer model of the burner was created. The flow domain was extracted from the solid model to use in CFD analysis. A commercial computational fluid dynamics code was utilized to analyze the flow domain. Projected flow conditions for the burner were applied to the CFD code. Results were evaluated in terms of homogenous flow distribution at the outer surface and flow mixing. Quantitative results are gathered and are presented in the present report by means of contour maps.


There aren’t any flow sourced anomalies in the flow domain which would cause an inefficient combustion for the application. An accumulation of gas is evident around the top flange of the burner leading to higher static pressure. Generally, very low pressure drop throughout the proposed burner geometry is found which is regarded as an advantage for burners. About 0.63 Pa static pressure increase is realized on the flange surface due to the accumulation of the gas. The passage between inner and outer volumes has a high impact on the total pressure and leads to about 0.5 Pa pressure drop. About 0.03 J/kg turbulent kinetic energy can be viewed as the highest amount. Together with the increase in total enthalpy, total amount of energy drawn from the flow is 0.05 J/kg. More than half of it spent through turbulence and remaining is dissipated as heat. Outflow from burner surface can be regarded homogenous though the top part has slightly higher outflow. This can be changed by gradually increasing pore sizes toward inlet direction.

Research limitations/implications

Combustion via a porous medium is a complex phenomenon since it involves multiple phases, combustion chemistry, complex pore geometries and fast transient responses. Therefore, experimentation is used mostly. To do a precise computational analysis, strong computational power, parallelizing, elaborate solid modeling, very fine meshes and small time steps and multiple models are required.

Practical implications

Findings in the present work imply that a homogenous gas outflow can be attained through the burner surfaces while very small pressure drop occurs leading to less pumping power requirement which is regarded as an advantage. Flow mixing is realizable since turbulent kinetic energy is distinguished at the interface surface between inner and outer volumes. The porous metal matrix burner offers fluid mixing and therefore better combustion efficiency. The proposed dimensions are found appropriate for real-world application.


Conducted analysis is for a novel burner design. There are opportunities both for scientific and commercial fields.



A brief presentation of this content was done in ICCE-NANO 24 ( [3440] and not published elsewhere. The content is prepared from a study of a PhD dissertation (Abdulkarim, 2016).


Abdulkarim, A.H., Ates, A., Altinisik, K. and Canli, E. (2019), "Internal flow analysis of a porous burner via CFD", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 29 No. 8, pp. 2666-2683.



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