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Adjoint-based optimization in the development of low-emission industrial boilers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalEngineering Optimization
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A gradient-based method has been developed and programmed to optimize the NH (Formula presented.) injections of an existing biomass-fired bubbling fluidized bed boiler, the targets being to minimize both the NO and the NH (Formula presented.) emissions. In this context, the reactive flow inside the boiler is modelled using a custom-built OpenFOAM (Formula presented.) solver, and then the NO and NH (Formula presented.) species are calculated using a post-processing technique. The multiobjective optimization problem is solved by optimizing several weight combinations of the objectives using the gradient-projection method. The required sensitivities were calculated by differentiating the post-processing solver according to the discrete adjoint method. The adjoint-based sensitivities are validated against finite differences calculations. Moreover, in order to evaluate the optimization results, the optimization problem is solved using evolutionary algorithms software. Finally, the optimization results are physically interpreted and the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed method are discussed.


  • adjoint, boiler, CFD, emissions, optimization

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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