I want to try simulation-(and not experimental)-driven approach to design custom fireplace fuel burners.

What software applications, libraries, code and model templates can I use to model and visualise a combustion process on a 3D object?

I want to design a 3D model of a static solid object, assign properties to it (e.g., choose material to be steel or glass), put it into an environment (Earth's gravity and atmosphere), and simulate the combustion process by controlling the supply of some fuel (liquid or gaseous, e.g., propane or ethanol). The model can be as simple as a cup with a fuel intake or it can be something more advanced, with several chambers, intakes, and vents.

I do not need to bother about the structural integrity of the object, its thermal expansion or other too-complicated combustion effects, like carbon deposition, etc. Maybe, thermodynamics of the object itself can be ignored. The conditions are not meant to be extreme, something that ranges between still liquid fuel burning and a blowtorch at a small exhaust rate.

However, I want to get a more-or-less accurate approximation of the combustion of the fuel that's exhausted by the object. After generating a spark at a certain point, the byproducts of the "burning fuel and oxygen" should influence the aerodynamics of the combustion process. The whole process has to be visualised. The simulation must capture the dynamics of the combustion, e.g. whether the flame is going to be stable, will oscillate, fade away, propagate to a nearby vent, etc.

Ideally, the software should be graphical and intuitive, capable of realtime simulation and visualisation on a consumer desktop. But, (let's be realistic), more demanding options (computationally and setup-wise) are welcome as well.

I have some experience with Octave/Matlab, Mathematica, and a bunch of C/C++/Python scientific libraries. These are probably the main candidates, but other products (with the cost of up to ~1000$) might also be considered.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Combustion is a really complicated process. It involves fluid dynamics, heat transfer and chemical reactions. I doubt that you can find a commercial package for the price range that you are mentioning. $\endgroup$
    – nicoguaro
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 19:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree with @nicoguaro . What you want to simulate there is incredibly challenging. $\endgroup$
    – MPIchael
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 15:40


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