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COMBUSTION CALCULATIONS

Solid & Liquid Fuels:


Astoi =

11.53*C + 34.34*(H2 - (O2/8)) + 4.29*S

where
Astoi = Dry stoichiometric air required for combustion, lb/lb of fuel
C = weight fraction of Carbon in Solid/Liquid fuel
H2 = weight fraction of Hydrogen in Solid/Liquid fuel
O2 = weight fraction of Oxygen in Solid/Liquid fuel
S = weight fraction of sulfur in Solid/Liquid Fuel

Gaseous Fuels:
Astoi =

2.47*CO + 34.34*H2 + 17.265*CH4 + 13.3*C2H2 + 14.81*C2H4 + 16.12*C2H6 + 15.69*C3H8 + 15.44*C4H10 - 4.32*O2

where
Astoi = Dry stoichiometric air required for combustion, lb/lb of fuel
CO = weight fraction of Carbon Monoxide Gaseous fuel
H2 = weight fraction of Hydrogen in Gaseous fuel
CH4 = weight fraction of Methane in Gaseous Fuel
C2H2 = weight fraction of acetylene in Gaseous Fuel
C2H4 = weight fraction of ethylene in Gaseous Fuel
C2H6 = weight fraction of ethane in Gaseous Fuel
C3H8 = weight fraction of propane in Gaseous Fuel
O2 = weight fraction of Oxygen in Gaseous fuel
HHV's (Higher Heating Value) for API fuel oils:
HHV =
17887 + 57.5*API - 102.2*S
where
API = Degree API of Fuel Oil (measure of specific gravity)
S = weight percent of sulfur in fuel oil

MM Btu method of combustion:


This method for combustion is based on the concept that the weight of air required in the combustion of a unit
weight of any commercial fuel is more nearly proportional to the unit heat value than to the unit weight of the fuel.
Hence the quantity of air required is expressed in lb per million btu (lb/MMBtu) fired.

Examples for calculation of thoretical/stoichiometric Air:


Example 1:
A Fuel oil has the following characteristics:
Degree API
28
weight percent C =
87.5
weight percent H =
12.5
weight percent S =
0
weight percent O =
0

API
%
%
%
%

Calculate the amount of theoretical air required per million Btu fired for above fuel oil

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COMBUSTION CALCULATIONS

Calculations:
HHV =
Astoi =

19497 Btu/lb
14.38 lb/lb fuel

1 MM Btu fired requires =


Hence air required per 1 MM Btu fuel =

51.29 lb fuel
737.6 lb

Example 2:
Natural gas is used as fired fuel for boiler. It has the following volumetric analysis:
CH4 =
83.4 %
C2H6 =
15.8 %
N2 =

0.8 %

Calculate the amount of theoretical air required per million Btu fired for natural gas
Calculations:
Component volume %

Molecular wt

weight % wt fraction Combustion


Constants
or HHV,
Btu/lb
72.89
0.7289
23876
yellow colored cell are inputs

CH4

83.4

16

C2H6

15.8

30

25.89

0.2589

22320

N2

0.8

28

1.22

0.0122

Astoi =
16.76 lb/lb fuel
HHV =
23181.0 Btu/lb
1 MM Btu fired requires =
Hence air required per 1 MM Btu fuel =

43.14 lb fuel
722.9 lb

Total Atmospheric Air required for Combustion in fired Heaters:


Atot =
where
Atot =

Astoi*(1000000/HHV of fuel)*(1+ H)*(1 + Aexc)

Astoi =
HHV =
H=

Dry stoichiometric or theoretical air required, lb/lb fuel


Higher Heating Value, Btu/lb
absolute humidity of atmospheric air expressed as a fraction - lb of water vapor per 1 lb of dry air
(to be calculated from % Relative Humidity (RH) & Dry Bulb Temperature using psychrometric chart,
example: at 105F & 100% RH, H = 0.0507 from Humid Air chart)
excess air expressed as a fraction (10% excess air will be entered as 0.1, 15% = 0.15 etc.)

Aexc =

total atmospheric air, lb/MM Btu

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COMBUSTION CALCULATIONS

Common Combustion Reactions & the Heats of Combustion:


Heating Value (Btu/lb)
HHV
LHV
61100
51600

H2 + 1/2O2 = H2O
C + O2 = CO2

14093

14093

C + 1/2O2 = CO

4440

4440

CO + 1/2O2 = CO2

4345

4345

S + O2 = SO2

10160

10160

CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O

23885

21500

C2H6 + 3.5O2 = 2CO2 + 3H2O

22263

20370

C3H8 + 5O2 = 3CO2 + 4H2O

21646

19929

C4H10 + 6.5O2 = 4CO2 + 5H2O

21293

19665

Note that where no water is formed during combustion reaction the HHV & LHV are the same.
Heating Value (LHV(net) & HHV(gross)) @ 60F, 14.696 psia (Source: Fig 23-2, GPSA Engg. Data Book)

Net
3

Btu/ft ,
ideal gas,
14.696
psia
Methane
909.4
Ethane
1618.7
Propane
2314.9
Isobutane
3000.4
n-Butane
3010.8
Isopentane
3699
n-Pentane
3706.9
Neopentane 3682.9
n-Hexane
4403.8
Hydrogen
273.8
Carbon
320.5
Monoxide
Compound

Prepared by:

Heating Value, 60F


Gross
3
Btu/ft ,
ideal gas,
Btu/lbm
Btu/lbm
14.696
Liquid
psia
Liquid
1010
20277
1769.6
22181
19757
2516.1
21489
19437
3251.9
21079
19494
3262.3
21136
19303
4000.9
20891
19335
4008.9
20923
19235
3984.7
20822
19232
4755.9
20783
324.2
320.5
-

Btu/gal
Liquid
65869
90830
98917
102911
108805
110091
103577
115021
-

Ankur Srivastava
Chemical Engineer
e-mail: ankur2061@yahoo.co.in

Disclaimer : The information and methods included within this spreadsheet are presented for combustion air
calculations. It is intended to be used by technically skilled persons at their own discretion. I do not warrant the
suitability or accuracy of these methods.

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COMBUSTION CALCULATIONS

+ 15.44*C4H10 - 4.32*O2

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COMBUSTION CALCULATIONS

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COMBUSTION CALCULATIONS

mbustion air
not warrant the

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