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Ajuste de un modelo matemático para la combustión de bagazo de caña en una cámara Ward-Cimpa

Colombian panela agroindustry uses bagasse, a milling byproduct, as fuel for fixed bed furnaces to obtain the energy required in the panela production process. At the moment, the Ward-Cimpa combustion chamber is the most efficient furnace available; but, it is empirically designed and constructed, since detailed mathematical models describing the combustion of biomass in these furnaces are not reported. This situation leads in many cases to inappropriate designs, which generate losses of 10% by incomplete combustion and of 40% unburned material. This research proposes a mathematical model -which involves kinetic expressions- for drying, devolatilization and oxidation of volatiles and carbonized material stages, based on the mass, energy and momentum balances for the solid and gaseous phases. The kinetic parameters were fitted to expermental data using the stochastic optimization algorithm: simulated annealing. The fitted model describes with an average error of 11%, the combustion rate, bed temperature and CO2 and O2 concentration in the flue gas, depending on the primary air flow and the moisture mass fraction. However, the model overestimated the CO concentration by about 50%

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