Flare System Considering Combustion, CFD Simulation, ANSYS Fluent Training

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The present problem simulates combustion in a gas flare system using ANSYS Fluent software.

This product includes a Geometry and Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Project Description

The present problem simulates combustion in a gas flare system using ANSYS Fluent software. The flare system, also known as a gas flare, is a combustion device used in industrial units such as oil and gas refineries and the production of oil and gas wells, especially in offshore platforms. Gas flares are responsible for burning the natural gases released during oil extraction in a completely controlled manner. During the oil extraction process, some natural gas accumulates on top of the oil in the reservoirs. In general, it is better to try to collect and store natural gas, but if this is not possible, they burn it.

The combustion of these gases using the flare system causes, firstly, to prevent the explosion and burning of this gas dangerously and uncontrollably. Secondly, burning and converting methane to carbon dioxide and releasing them in the open space, is less harmful than methane release. Therefore, the Species Transport model has been used to carry out this project. The transition species’ defined material is an n-butane-air mixture, consisting of 9 gaseous species including C4H10, O2, CO2, H2O, H2, CH4, C2H6, C3H8, and N2. The Volumetric model is also activated to activate chemical reactions and consequently the combustion process. This burning process consists of five different chemical reactions in the following form.

Due to the model’s symmetrical structure and to reduce the computational cost, only a 120-degree segment of the geometry is modeled. At the tip of the flare, a gas flow with a flow rate of 0.09259 kg.s-1 enters the environment in the form of a combination of hydrocarbons, and at the same time, a methane flow from the pilot flame at a speed of 2.479 ms-1 to ignite gases as well as water vapor flow enter the environment at a speed of 2.479 ms-1.


Flare Geometry & Mesh

The present model is designed in three dimensions using Design Modeler software. The current model is related to the gas flare, which due to the symmetrical configuration, and to reduce the computational cost, only a 120-degree segment of it has been modeled. This flare has a cylindrical structure that is located inside a cylindrical computing space. At the tip of the flare sections are defined for steam, gas flow, and pilot.


We carry out the meshing of the model using ANSYS Meshing software, and the mesh type is unstructured. The element number is 1043138. The following figure shows the mesh.


Flare CFD Simulation

We consider several assumptions to simulate the present model:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is steady.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Viscous k-epsilon
k-epsilon model standard
near wall treatment standard wall functions
Species Species Transport
mixture material n-butane-air
reactions volumetric
number of volumetric species 9
Energy On
Boundary conditions
Inlet – Gas Mass Flow Inlet
mass flow rate 0.09259 kg.s-1
temperature 300 K
CH4 mass fraction 0.0359
C2H6 mass fraction 0.1525
C3H8 mass fraction 0.227
C4H10 mass fraction 0.2017
other species 0
Inlet – Pilot Velocity Inlet
velocity magnitude 2.479 m.s-1
temperature 300 K
CH4 mass fraction 1
other species 0
Inlet – Steam Velocity Inlet
velocity magnitude 2.479 m.s-1
temperature 300 K
H2O mass fraction 1
other species 0
Inlet Pressure Inlet
gauge pressure 0 Pascal
temperature 300 K
O2 mass fraction 0.23
other species 0
Walls Wall
wall motion stationary wall
heat flux 0 W.m-2
Pressure-Velocity Coupling Coupled
Pressure second order
momentum first order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate first order upwind
all species first order upwind
energy first order upwind
Initialization methods Standard
gauge pressure 0 Pascal
x-velocity & y-velocity 0 m.s-1
z-velocity 2.479 m.s-1
O2 mass fraction 0.23
other species 0
temperature 300 K

Results & Discussions:

At the end of the solution process, three-dimensional contours related to temperature, velocity, and mass fraction of each gas species modeled in this simulation are obtained. For example, by examining the three-dimensional contour of the carbon dioxide gas, it can be well understood that the chemical reaction of combustion and carbon dioxide gas production is performed.

There are a Geometry file, Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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