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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Mohamed Mohsen Ahmed; Arnaud Trouve; Jason M. Forthofer; Mark A. Finney
Publication Date: 2024

Our objective in the present study is to provide basic insights into the coupling between external-gas and solid biomass vegetation processes that control the dynamics of flame spread in wildland fire problems. We focus on a modeling approach that resolves processes occurring at vegetation and flame scales, i.e., the formation of flammable vapors due to the thermal degradation of the solid biomass, the subsequent combustion in ambient air, the thermal feedback to the biomass through radiative and convective heat transfer, and the possible transition from flaming combustion (taking place outside of the solid biomass) to smoldering combustion (taking place inside the solid biomass). The capability uses a multiphase combustion framework and treats external-gas processes through a Large Eddy Simulation solver and solid biomass processes through a discrete particle model. The discrete particle model adopts a one-dimensional porous medium formulation, includes descriptions of drying, thermal pyrolysis, oxidative pyrolysis, and char oxidation, as well as a description of the external-gas-to-solid-biomass diffusion of oxygen mass; the discrete particle model thereby provides a treatment of in-depth oxidative processes and allows the simulation of smoldering combustion. The modeling capability is applied to the simulation of fire spread across a surrogate biomass vegetation bed corresponding to a discrete array of cylindrical-shaped, vertically-oriented, pine wood sticks, characterized by a monomodal size distribution, in horizontal flat terrain and under wind-aided conditions. The numerical results demonstrate that the model can simulate successful flaming-to-smoldering transition followed by complete biomass consumption.

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Citation: Ahmed, Mohamed Mohsen; Trouvé, Arnaud; Forthofer, Jason M.; Finney, Mark A. 2024. Simulations of flaming combustion and flaming-to-smoldering transition in wildland fire spread at flame scale. Combustion and Flame 262:113370.

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  • fire spread
  • smoldering
  • vegetation processes
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FRAMES Record Number: 69091