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International Heat Transfer Conference 15

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

Modelling Heat and Mass Transfer in Porous Material during Pyrolysis using Operator Splitting and Dimensionless Analysis

Julien Maes
Imperial College London

Ann H. Muggeridge
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Matthew D. Jackson
Novel Reservoir Modelling and Simulation Group, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, UK

Michel Quintard
Université de Toulouse; INPT, UPS; IMFT (Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse); Allée Camille Soula, F-31400 Toulouse, France and CNRS; IMFT; F-31400 Toulouse, France

Alexandre Lapene

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC15.pmd.008848
pages 6883-6897

KEY WORDS: Porous media, Computational methods, Porous media, pyrolysis, dimensionless analysis, operator splitting


Dimensionless analysis is used to improve the computational performance when using operator splitting methods to model the heat and mass transfer during pyrolysis. The specific examples investigated are thermal decomposition of polymer composite when used as heat shields during space-craft re-entry or for rocket nozzle’s protection, and the In-Situ Upgrading (ISU) of solid oil shale by subsurface pyrolysis to form liquid oil and . ISU is a very challenging process to model numerically because a large number of components need to be modelled using a system of equations that are both highly non-linear and strongly coupled. Inspectional Analysis is used to determine the minimum number of dimensionless groups that can be used to describe the process. This set of dimensionless numbers is then reduced to those that are key to describing the system behaviour. This is achieved by performing a sensitivity study using Experimental Design to rank the numbers in terms of their impact on system behaviour. The numbers are then sub-divided into those of primary importance, secondary importance and those which are insignificant based on the t-value of their effect, which is compared to the Bonferroni corrected t-limit and Lenth’s margin of error. Finally we use the sub-set of the most significant numbers to improve the stability and performance when numerically modelling this process. A range of operator splitting techniques is evaluated including the Sequential Split Operator (SSO), the Iterative Split Operator (ISO) and the Alternating Split Operator (ASO).

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