From Pyrolysis Kinetics to Models of Condensed-Phase Burning
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The state-of-the-art of fire modelling is currently hindered due to a poor capability to model the burning of solid fuels. Current fire modelling tools provide good predictions of the thermal effects of a fire (e.g. the resulting thermal environment) but fail to predict properly the fire development (e.g. flame spread and fire growth). The consequence is that current fire modelling cannot predict the transient evolution of the heat release rate of a fire. The development of fire spread models that can accurately predict the ignition and burning of solid-fuels will be a major advancement. In this work, the effects of the kinetic parameters of a one-step and a two-step pyrolysis are studied by combining it with a simple heat transfer model. The issue of the required level of complexity in the models for parameter-estimation is a concern. Simplifications are required where the necessary precision does not warrant the inclusion of higher levels of complexity. This paper advocates for the use of blind predictions in combination with sensitivity studies and the identification of the simplest model that can predict the experimental data. Results are presented here in that direction.