Industrial Burners: Parts, Applications, Types of burners

Industrial Burners: Types, Parts, Design, and Low Nox Combustion Technolog


Combustion and Burners

Energy From the Combustion Process

  • In today’s rapidly increasing energy consumption, the most of energy is produced by burning fossil fuels. With an increase in population, there is a tremendous demand of energy sources.
  • Burners is the device that produces heat energy after burning of fuel for power generation. It is specifically designed to facilitate the combustion of fuel using air.
  • Various fuels natural gas, propane, oil, or biomass are burnt during combustion in the burner. When the fuel is combined with an oxidizer (usually oxygen from the air) and ignited, combustion occurs, releasing energy in the form of heat, light, and sometimes flame
  • More than 60% of energy is produced by the combustion of fossil fuels like natural gas oil and coal.
    • Fossil fuels -65%
    • Oil fuel  – 3%
    • Coal fuel – 38%
    • Natural gas – 23%.
  • Global emissions  are mainly due burning of coal, oil, and natural gas in fuel combustion

        Energy generation from different sources


  • Engineer to understand the combustion process before working on industrial burners
  • The combustion process typically involves three essential elements of oxygen fuel and heat energy.
  • It is also known as the “combustion triangle”: fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source.
    • The fuel is the substance being burned, oxygen provides the necessary oxidizer for the chemical reaction, and the ignition source (such as a sparker, flame lighter, or igniter ) initiates the combustion process.


What is an Industrial Burner?

  • Industrial burners are combustion systems designed to convert fuel into heat by controlled and efficient combustion.
  • These burners provide a reliable and consistent source of heat, allowing industrial processes to function optimally.
  • Industrial burners are available in a variety of types, including gas burners, oil burners, dual-fuel burners, and low-NOx burners, each tailored to suit specific applications and requirements.
  • LPG gas stove is commonly used for cooking, heating, and manufacturing applications
  • In the realm of industrial processes, where heat plays a pivotal role, industrial burners emerge as the unsung heroes. These ingenious devices efficiently convert fuel into controlled, intense heat required for a wide array of industrial applications.
  • From powering boilers and furnaces to facilitating various manufacturing processes, industrial burners are the fiery workhorses that enable modern industry to thrive. In this blog post, we delve into the world of industrial burners, exploring their functions, types, and significance in diverse sectors.

Understanding Industrial Burners

  • Industrial burners are devices designed to produce and regulate heat by combusting fuel, typically gaseous or liquid, in an efficient and controlled manner.
  • They are widely used in industries such as oil and gas, chemical manufacturing, food processing, metallurgy, and power generation.
  • Industrial burners are crucial for processes such as heating, drying, melting, incineration, and even energy generation. Their ability to produce high-temperature flames under precise conditions makes them indispensable in countless industrial settings.

Principle of Industrial Burners_and its parts


Major Components of Burner

Industrial burners operate based on the principles of fuel combustion, mixing fuel and air in the correct proportions to achieve efficient combustion and heat generation. Key components of an industrial burner include:

  1. Fuel Supply:
    • Industrial burners can be fueled by various sources, including natural gas, propane, oil, or a combination of fuels.
    • The fuel supply system ensures a consistent and reliable flow of fuel to the burner.
  2. Combustion Chamber:
    • This is where the fuel and air mix and burn.
    • The combustion chamber is carefully designed to achieve complete combustion and maximum heat transfer while minimizing emissions.
  3. Ignition System:
    • Industrial burners require an ignition system to initiate the combustion process.
    • Common ignition methods include electric ignition, pilot burners, or spark ignition systems.
  4. Controls and Safety Mechanisms:
    • Modern industrial burners feature advanced control systems that enable precise modulation of heat output, ensuring optimal performance and energy efficiency.
    • Safety mechanisms, such as flame monitoring systems and pressure sensors, are integrated to prevent accidents and ensure operational reliability.

Applications of Industrial Burners

Industrial burners find applications in a wide range of industries, including:

  1. Power Generation: Industrial burners are widely used in power plants to generate steam for electricity production. They provide the heat necessary to convert water into steam, which drives turbines to generate electricity.
  2. Chemical and Petrochemical Industry: Industrial burners play a crucial role in chemical and petrochemical processes such as refining, distillation, and cracking. They provide the heat required for chemical reactions and process heating.
  3. Metalworking: In metalworking applications, industrial burners are utilized for tasks such as metal melting, heat treatment, and metal forming. They enable precise temperature control, ensuring consistent quality and efficiency in metalworking processes.
  4. Food Processing: Industrial burners are employed in various aspects of the food processing industry, including baking, drying, roasting, and sterilization. They provide the necessary heat for cooking and processing food products.

Wall fired Premixture Burners in fired heaters

Benefits of Industrial Burners

  1. Enhanced Efficiency:
    • Industrial burners are designed to achieve high combustion efficiency, resulting in minimal waste and optimal use of fuel.
    • This translates into reduced energy consumption and cost savings for industrial operations.
  2. Precise Control:
    • Modern industrial burners are equipped with advanced control systems that allow precise modulation of heat output.
    • This enables operators to adjust heat levels as per process requirements, ensuring optimal temperature control and minimizing product defects.
  3. Environmental Sustainability:
    • Low-NOx burners, a type of industrial burner, are designed to minimize nitrogen oxide emissions, contributing to environmental sustainability.
    • By reducing emissions, businesses can comply with stringent environmental regulations and reduce their carbon footprint.
  4. Reliability and Safety: Industrial burners are built to withstand demanding industrial environments and offer robust



Types of Industrial Burners:

There are various types of burners available in the market depending on industrial applications.

Gas Burners:

    • These burners are primarily designed to utilize natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as fuel.
    • Gas burners offer advantages such as clean combustion, precise flame control, and low emissions.
    • They are commonly used in industries requiring high-temperature applications, such as metalworking, glass manufacturing, and power generation.

Blast Furnace Gas  (BFG) Burner

  • blast furnace gas (BFG) burner is a device used to combust blast furnace gas, a byproduct of the iron and steel manufacturing process.
  • Blast furnace gas is generated during the production of pig iron in a blast furnace.
BFG burner
BFG burner
  • It is a mixture of various gases, primarily consisting of carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen (N2), with smaller amounts of hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and other trace gases.
Typical fuel composition of BFG gas
Typical fuel composition of BFG gas
  • The burner is a crucial component in utilizing blast furnace gas as a fuel source for various applications, such as heating, power generation, or as a supplementary fuel in other industrial processes.
  • The design and operation of the burner are important to ensure efficient and controlled combustion of blast furnace gas.
  • Key features and considerations for a blast furnace gas burner include:
    1. High Temperature Operation:
      • Blast furnace gas has a high calorific value, and the burner must be designed to operate at elevated temperatures to effectively combust the gas.
    2. Stability and Control:
      • The burner should provide stable and controllable combustion to meet the specific process requirements.
      • This may involve the use of control systems to regulate air and fuel flow.
    3. Safety:
      • Safety features are essential to prevent accidents and ensure the safe operation of the burner.
      • This includes mechanisms to handle potential variations in gas composition and pressure.

Oil Burners:

    • Oil burners are designed to burn various types of liquid fuels, including heavy oils, light oils, and even waste oils. They find applications in industries like refining, petrochemicals, and food processing.
    • Oil burners are known for their versatility and ability to provide consistent heat output over extended periods.

Details of typical-oil-burner-with-labeled-components

  • Atomization of oil is carried out to fast vapor formation of liquid fuel

Dual-Fuel Burners:

  • Dual-fuel burners offer the flexibility to operate on two different types of fuels, usually gas and oil.
  • This versatility allows industries to adapt their fuel sources based on availability, cost, or emission regulations.
  • Dual-fuel burners are commonly used in sectors with fluctuating fuel supplies or those requiring a backup fuel source.

Pulverized Coal Burners:

  • PC burners are used in thermal power plants
  • These burners are designed to burn pulverized coal, a finely ground coal powder that is blown into a combustion chamber.
  • Pulverized coal burners are widely used in power plants, providing a cost-effective and efficient method for coal combustion.

Types of Oil Burners

There are several types of oil burners used in various applications. Here are some common types:

Pressure Jet Burner:

  • This type of burner is widely used in residential and commercial heating systems. It operates by forcing oil through a nozzle at high pressure, which atomizes the oil into fine droplets. The droplets are then mixed with air and ignited, producing a flame for heat generation.

Vaporizing Burner:

  • Also known as a pot-type burner, this burner operates by vaporizing the fuel oil within a combustion chamber. The fuel is typically poured into a pot or reservoir, and a wick or similar device carries the oil to a burner head. The oil is vaporized by the heat of a flame, and combustion occurs above the burner head.

Rotary Cup Burner:

  • This type of burner is commonly used in industrial applications. It features a cup-shaped combustion head that rotates at high speed. The oil is supplied to the cup, where it forms a thin film on the inner surface. The rotation of the cup creates centrifugal force, spreading the oil film uniformly. Atomization and combustion take place as the oil film comes into contact with a flame.

Air-Atomizing Burner:

  • This burner uses compressed air or steam to atomize the oil, creating a fine mist. The atomized oil and air mixture is then ignited to produce a flame. Air-atomizing burners are often used in industrial settings where precise control over the fuel-air mixture is required.

Power Burner:

  • Power burners are typically used in large-scale industrial applications. They use a combination of mechanical fuel injection and forced draft combustion air to create a powerful and efficient flame. Power burners are capable of handling a wide range of fuel oils and offer excellent combustion control.

These are just a few examples of oil burner types. The specific type of burner used depends on the application, fuel availability, and desired performance characteristics.


Types of Atomization in Oil Burners

Atomization is the process of breaking down liquid fuel into small droplets to enhance combustion efficiency. In oil burners, there are different methods of atomization. Here are the common types:

  • These are some of the main methods of atomization used in oil burners. The choice of atomization method depends on factors such as the specific burner design, application requirements, fuel properties, and combustion efficiency goals.


  1. Pressure Atomization:
    • This method of atomization is employed in pressure jet burners.
    • The oil is pressurized and forced through a nozzle or an orifice at high pressure. As it passes through the small opening, it undergoes a rapid decrease in pressure, resulting in the formation of fine droplets.
    • The high velocity of the oil leaving the nozzle helps to disperse the droplets and mix them with combustion air for efficient combustion.
  2. Steam or Air Atomization:
    • In this method, steam or compressed air is used to atomize the oil.
    • The oil is typically pumped to a nozzle where steam or air is introduced. The steam or air acts as a medium to break the oil into small droplets.
    • This method is commonly used in industrial burners where precise control over the fuel-air mixture is required.
  3. Rotary Cup Atomization:
    • Rotary cup burners use a rotating cup to achieve atomization. The cup is partially filled with fuel oil, and as it rotates at high speed, centrifugal force spreads the oil along the inner surface of the cup.
    • The oil film is then sheared off by a stationary ignition electrode or by the action of compressed air or steam blast. This process creates a spray of fine oil droplets for combustion.
  4. Mechanical Atomization:
    • This method involves the use of mechanical devices to break down the fuel oil into droplets.
    • One common example is the use of a swirl plate or swirl chamber.
    • The fuel oil is directed into the chamber, where it encounters a swirling motion created by the geometry of the device. This swirling action causes the oil to break up into small droplets, which are then mixed with air for combustion.


Significance of Industrial Burners

  1. Energy Efficiency: Industrial burners play a vital role in improving energy efficiency in various industrial processes. By precisely controlling the combustion process, burners maximize fuel utilization and minimize energy waste, resulting in significant cost savings.
  2. Environmental Sustainability: With growing environmental concerns, industrial burners have evolved to meet stringent emission standards. Advanced burner technologies help reduce pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, promoting cleaner and more sustainable industrial practices.
  3. Process Optimization: Industrial burners allow precise control over temperature, flame shape, and intensity, enabling industries to optimize their processes for improved product quality, reduced cycle times, and enhanced overall productivity.
  4. Safety and Reliability: Industrial burners are designed with safety features and undergo rigorous testing to ensure reliable and safe operation. Their advanced control systems and monitoring capabilities minimize the risk of accidents and ensure stable combustion conditions.
  • Industrial burners are unsung heroes that generate the controlled heat necessary for numerous industrial processes. From manufacturing and energy production to refining and food processing, these devices offer unmatched versatility and efficiency.
  • As industries continue to seek sustainable and efficient solutions, advancements in burner technologies will play a crucial role.
  • With a focus on energy conservation, emission reduction, and process optimization, industrial burners will remain a key driving force behind the progress of modern industrialization.

Types burners for boilers

 Low NOx Burner for Combusting Efficiency 

  • For sustainable industrial practices of clean and efficient combustion, reducing harmful emissions has become a top priority. Among the various emission pollutants, nitrogen oxides (NOx) have garnered significant attention due to their detrimental effects on the environment and human health.
  • To address this concern, low NOx burners have emerged as a crucial technological advancement in industrial combustion systems. In this blog post, we explore the concept of low NOx burners, their working principles, benefits, and their role in promoting cleaner industrial operations.

Understanding Low NOx Burners:

  • Low NOx burners are specialized combustion devices designed to minimize the formation of nitrogen oxides during the combustion process.
  • NOx emissions occur when nitrogen and oxygen present in the air react at high temperatures, such as those encountered in industrial burners.
  • Traditional burners using fossil fuels often operate at high flame temperatures, leading to increased formation of NOx compounds.
  • Low NOx burners employ advanced technologies to control combustion parameters, thereby reducing the formation of NOx gases.

Working Principles of Low NOx Burners:

Low NOx burners employ various design features and operating principles to minimize nitrogen oxide emissions:

  1. Air Staging:
    • Air staging is a technique used in Low NOx burners to distribute combustion air in multiple stages.
    • By introducing staged air into the combustion zone, the temperature and oxygen concentration are controlled, reducing the formation of nitrogen oxides.
  2. Flue Gas Recirculation (FGR):
    • FGR involves reintroducing a portion of the flue gas, which contains inert gases and lower oxygen levels, back into the combustion zone.
    • This process helps moderate peak flame temperatures, limiting the formation of nitrogen oxides.
  3. Fuel Injection and Mixing:
    • Low NOx burners optimize fuel injection and mixing to ensure efficient and complete combustion.
    • Proper fuel atomization and distribution enable uniform burning and reduce the formation of nitrogen oxides.

Advantages of Low NOx Burners

  1. Environmental Impact:
    • The primary advantage of low NOx burners is their significant reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.
    • By adopting these burners, industries can contribute to improved air quality and reduce their ecological footprint. Lower NOx emissions help in mitigating the formation of smog, acid rain, and the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere.
  2. Regulatory Compliance:
    • Stringent environmental regulations have compelled industries to seek ways to reduce their emissions.
    • Low NOx burners provide a practical solution to meet emission standards and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  3. Energy Efficiency:
    • Low NOx burners are designed to optimize combustion, which leads to improved energy efficiency.
    • By enhancing fuel utilization and reducing waste, industries can achieve energy savings and reduce operating costs.
  4. Operational Flexibility:
    • Low NOx burners offer the flexibility to adapt to various fuel types and operating conditions.
    • They can be retrofitted into existing combustion systems, allowing industries to upgrade their equipment without significant capital investments.
  5. Combustion System Upgrades:
    • Low NOx burners can be retrofitted to existing combustion systems, offering a cost-effective option for industries to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions without extensive equipment replacements.

Scope of  CFD Modeling of Industrial Burners

  • CFD modeling involves the numerical simulation of fluid flow, heat transfer, and combustion phenomena using computational methods.
  • When applied to industrial burners, CFD modeling allows engineers to predict and visualize the behavior of fuel-air mixtures, combustion processes, and heat transfer within the burner system.
  • By solving governing equations such as the Navier-Stokes equations, mass and energy conservation equations, and chemical reaction kinetics, CFD provides a comprehensive understanding of burner performance and aids in design optimization.
  1. Improved Burner Performance:
    • CFD modeling enables engineers to study and optimize key burner parameters such as fuel injection, air distribution, and flame stability.
    • By simulating different burner design variations, CFD helps identify areas for improvement, leading to enhanced burner performance, including better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and more uniform heat distribution.
  2. Virtual Prototyping and Design Iterations:
    • CFD modeling allows for virtual prototyping, eliminating the need for physical prototypes in the early design stages.
    • Engineers can rapidly iterate through various design modifications, evaluating their impact on performance without the cost and time associated with physical testing.
    • This accelerates the design process and enables the exploration of a broader range of design possibilities.
  3. Emissions Control and Compliance:
    • CFD modeling plays a vital role in optimizing burner performance to meet stringent emissions regulations.
    • By accurately simulating combustion processes and emissions formation, engineers can identify strategies to minimize pollutant generation and develop low NOx (nitrogen oxides) or low CO (carbon monoxide) burner designs, aiding industries in achieving environmental compliance.
  4. Flame Visualization and Understanding:
    • CFD modeling provides valuable insights into flame behavior and characteristics within the burner system.
    • Visualization tools allow engineers to study flame stability, flame shape, and temperature profiles, aiding in the identification of potential issues such as flame impingement or incomplete combustion.
    • This understanding guides the development of more robust and efficient burner designs.
    • CFD simulations of the industrial burner are presented in the previous post.
  • The numerical results of the premixed venturi burner are shown below. High-temperature flue gases flow inside the furnace.

CFD results for temperature contours of premixed venturi burner

  • CFD results obtained from numerical simulation for the cement kiln is presented below. High-temperature flue gases enter the cement kiln.

CFD results for temperature contours inside the cement kiln


Challenges and Considerations of Combustion Modeling

While CFD modeling offers significant benefits, it also presents some challenges and considerations in the context of industrial burner design:

  1. Computational Complexity:
    • The accurate simulation of combustion processes and fluid dynamics requires high computational power and resources.
    • CFD models often involve complex geometries, types of air and fuel mixing, turbulent flows, and chemical reactions, necessitating careful meshing and solver selection to achieve accurate results.
  2. Validation and Experimental Data:
    • combustions models
    • Validation of CFD models is crucial to ensure their accuracy and reliability.
    • Flame profiles and emissions can be compared with field data
    • Comparison with experimental data, including measurements from physical burner tests, helps validate the model and build confidence in its predictive capabilities.
  3. Model Assumptions and Simplifications:
    • CFD models are based on assumptions and simplifications to reduce computational complexity.
    • Proper selection of turbulence models, reaction mechanisms, and boundary conditions is essential to ensure model accuracy and validity.


  • CFD modeling has revolutionized the design and analysis of industrial burners, offering engineers powerful insights and optimization capabilities.
  • By simulating fluid flow, combustion, and heat transfer, CFD enables the exploration of design variations, performance enhancements, and emissions control. As industries strive for improved burner efficiency, reduced emissions, and compliance with environmental regulations, CFD modeling emerges as a critical tool


  • Low NOx burners represent a significant advancement in combustion technology, allowing industries to achieve environmental responsibility while maintaining operational efficiency.
  • By employing techniques such as air staging and flue gas recirculation, these burners effectively reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and contribute to cleaner air quality.
  • The adoption of Low NOx burners not only enables compliance with stringent environmental regulations but also enhances energy efficiency and sustainability. As industries continue to prioritize environmental stewardship, Low NOx burners serve as an essential tool for achieving a harmonious balance between industrial productivity and ecological well-being.

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