Aspects of mesh generation for the burner optimization of an anode baking furnace

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Abstract

Aluchemie produces anodes for the Aluminium industry and is the largest stand-alone anode factory in the world. Anode baking process The anode baking process is one of the crucial steps in the production of anodes for the aluminium industry. It improves the strength, conductivity of the anode and reduces reactivity during electrolysis. Efficient baking involves uniform heat distribution on the surface of the Anode. Hotspots appear close to the burner due to high local temperature gradients. Hotspots lead to an increase in unwanted NOX emissions. NOX emissions can be reduced by having an efficient burner design to create a wide temperature distribution and subsequently avoid hotspots. The temperature distribution in the furnace is highly dependent on the flow distribution, combustion and the heat transfer. Accordingly, a model needs to be developed that can model the above-mentioned phenomena and predict the NOX emissions.
State of the art review shows that there are many mathematical models available for the functioning and operation of ABF. But only a few of the models are tailored to estimate the emissions. Furthermore, these simulations are performed on the geometries with the simplest burner design, even though it is known that the burner configurations, significantly affect the emissions. Therefore, in the current study, a more sophisticated burner design is considered. Due to the complex nature of the burner design aspects of mesh generation are studied in detail and recommendations are made to improve the quality of the mesh.