CFD Modelling of a Rotary Lime Kiln
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
McDonalds Lime Ltd, situated in Otorohanga, New Zealand, operate two dry process rotary lime kilns producing burnt and hydrated lime for a range of industries including agriculture, roading, water treatment, gold mining and steel making. The following Technology in Industry Fellowship (TIF) funded Masters Project is structured around investigating the combustion characteristics of Kiln Two at McDonald’s Lime Ltd using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
Numerical results obtained using the commercial CFD code FLUENT were first validated against experimental data from the International Flame Research Foundation’s (IFRF) Furnace No.1. The validation study focussed on comparing the finite rate and mixture fraction/PDF approaches to combustion chemistry, as well as different methods for defining coal particle size distributions.
Numerical modelling of Kiln Two at McDonald’s Lime Ltd began with full three-dimensional simulations, however due to their complexity and large computational times, two-dimensional axisymmetric models were primarily used for investigations. Comparisons were made between the two approaches. Investigations into the original pulverised coal fired system focussed on how the kiln aerodynamics and heat transfer properties were affected by changes to the coal and air inlet properties. The performance of a recently installed waste oil firing system was also investigated, with results showing that firing the kiln with a 25% thermal substitution of oil is the most efficient mode of operation. As the investigations focussed on the combustion characteristics the effects of the reacting limestone bed were ignored in all simulations.
CFD modelling of the combustion characteristics within a large scale rotary kiln proved to be an extremely complex task. The work presented in this thesis has however provided some promising results which will ultimately assist McDonalds Lime Ltd in reducing their operating costs and environmental impact. Futhermore, the project has laid the foundation for further investigations.