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FG-DVC Description
Users of Model




FG-DVC Model

Functional-Group, Depolymerization, Vaporization, Cross-linking Model

What is FG-DVC
Modeling Approach
Model Validation
Further Information
Users of the FG-DVC Model

FG-DVC/FG-BioMass Brochure


What is FG-DVC

The Functional-Group, Depolymerization, Vaporization, Cross-linking (FG-DVC) model is a comprehensive code for predicting yields and compositions of coal-pyrolysis products (gas, tar, and char). The quantification of gas-phase NOx precursors is also possible. The code is particularly useful in modeling high heating rate processes, where experimental data are difficult to collect. Coal switching, blending, and co-firing of biomass and coal are other applications. The model is based on the fundamentals of coal chemistry and physics. The model has recently been extended to biomass and to processes involving large coal particles. For coals, the minimum input is ultimate analysis, but more reliable results are obtained if input files are generated on the basis of TG-FTIR analysis available from Advanced Fuel Research. (TG-FTIR = thermogravimetric analyzer combined with Fourier transform infrared analysis of evolving products.) In the case of biomass, we recommend input files based on TG-FTIR data. The model is available as a stand-alone version and as a submodel for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes. 


Diverse feedstocks:






waste materials (e.g., waste tires)

The following information provided as a function of extent of devolatilization (e.g., pyrolysis time):


Gas, tar, and char yields


Elemental composition of gas, tar, and char


Molecular weight distribution of tar


Information on coal softening and fluidity


Detailed speciation and quantification of volatile products:


For biomass, additionally:

formic acid
acetic acid


The effect of pressure taken into account


Capability for integration with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes

PCGC-2 (pulverized coal combustion/gasification - Brigham Young University) 
AIOLOS (University of Stuttgart) 
MBED-1 (fixed beds - Brigham Young University)
FBED-1 (fixed beds - Brigham Young University) 
MFIX (fluidized beds – U.S. Department of Energy)



Stand-alone versions available on multiple platforms

PC (DOS, Windows 95 / 98 / NT) 
Macintosh (under development) 


Extensive customer support available from the model developer, Advanced Fuel Research, Inc. (includes TG-FTIR characterization of unusual 


Model Input

Elemental composition of coal or biomass
Pyrolysis temperature as a function of time
In the case of biomass, some coals, and non-standard feedstocks, TG-FTIR analysis (a thermogravimetric analyzer combined with Fourier transform infrared analysis of evolving products) – available from Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.



Coal-conversion processes: pyrolysis, gasification, combustion, liquefaction


Coal switching


Coal blending


Co-firing of biomass and coal


Biomass conversion: pyrolysis, gasification, and combustion

Modeling Approach

The modeling approach used in FG-DVC is phenomenological in nature. A suite of well-characterized coals was selected to form an FG-DVC database (library coals), and pyrolysis behavior of these coals was extensively studied using TG-FTIR analysis, pyrolysis Field Ionization Mass Spectrometry (FIMS), Gieseler fluidity, solvent swelling and solvent extraction. Based on this information, three FG-DVC input files were created for each library coal: (1) kinetic file; (2) composition file; and (3) polymer file. The first two files describe the kinetics of gas-product evolution and the amounts of precursor material for each volatile species. A set of independent, first-order reactions with Gaussian activation-energy distributions is used for the kinetic model. The polymer input file contains information on the coal’s swelling and fluid behavior. The library coals can be represented as a network of grid nodes in the so-called van Krevelen diagram (a plot of H/C versus O/C atomic ratios). The required three FG-DVC input files can be generated for any coal, as illustrated in Figure 1. Elemental composition data for an untested coal are plotted in the van Krevelen diagram, and input parameters are interpolated from among input parameters of the three nearest library coals (triangular interpolation). In this way, elemental composition is the only input information that is needed to run the FG-DVC code. For unusual feedstocks, custom input files can be created at AFR.


Figure 1. Illustration of an interpolation scheme used to create FG-DVC input files for a coal with an unknown pyrolysis behavior.

Model Validation

The FG-DVC model has been extensively validated against experimental data, and more detailed information on model validation can be found in The FG-DVC Model Description and Validation fact sheet. For the sake of illustration, results of blind model-prediction tests are shown in Figure 2. An independent testing program was carried out on behalf of Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the tests involved drop-tube pyrolysis experiments performed at PowerGen. A set of eight international coals was used, and AFR was provided only with their proximate and ultimate analyses in addition to the nominal pyrolysis conditions (a linear temperature ramp at 2 x 104 K/s from room temperature to 1613 K, followed by an isothermal treatment at 1613 K for 150 milliseconds). The dotted lines in Figure 2 indicate the approximate range of uncertainty in experimental data, and solid symbols represent the FG-DVC model predictions. It can be seen that the agreement is good.

Figure 2. Comparison of PowerGen drop-tube pyrolysis data with FG-DVC model predictions. Dotted lines indicate the uncertainty limits of experimental data, and solid symbols represent model predictions.

Further Information

The following FG-DVC fact sheets are available:


The FG-DVC Model Description and Validation


A List of Publications on the FG-DVC Model


FG-DVC Ordering Information

Inquiries about the FG-DVC model should be directed to Dr. Marek A. Wójtowicz, Manager, Hydrocarbons Group, Advanced Fuel Research, Inc., East Hartford, CT 06108, USA; tel. +1 (860) 528-9806 ext. 142, fax +1 (860) 528-0648, e-mail: marek@AFRinc.com.

Users of the FG-DVC Model

A partial list of laboratories which have used the FG-DVC Model.


Name Location
ABB - Power Plant Laboratories  Windsor, CT
Riley Stoker Corporation Worcester, MA
Babcock and Wilcox Co. Alliance, OH 
Foster Wheeler Development Corp. Livingston, NJ
Factory Mutual Research Corp Norwood, MA
BOC Group Technical Center Murray Hill, NJ
CRS Sirrine Engineers, Inc. Greenville, SC 
Bechtel Corp San Francisco, CA
Department of Energy, NETL Morgantown, WV
Department of Energy, NETL Pittsburgh, PA
National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Golden, CO
FAA Technical Center Atlantic City, NJ
Brown University Providence, RI
Brigham Young University  Provo, UT 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute Blacksburg, VA
Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
University of Utah  Salt Lake City, UT

      .     .              


Name Location
Institut Français du Pétrole Rueil - Malmaison, France
AEA Technology Oxfordshire, UK
DMT Gesellschaft Essen, Germany
Insituto de Carboquimica Zaragoza, Spain
Instituto Nacionel Del Carbon  Oviedo, Spain
Reatech Roskilde, Denmark
Swedish National Testing and Research Institute Boras, Sweden
CSIRO Sydney, Australia
Institute of Coal Chemistry Shanxi, China
Technical University of Denmark Lyngby, Denmark
Technische Universitat Graz  Graz, Austria 
University of Stuttgart Stuttgart, Germany 
Imperial College  London, UK
University of Leeds  Leeds, UK
University of Newcastle Callaghan, Australia 
Monash University Mulgrove, Australia
University of Kyoto Kyoto, Japan
Kyushu University Fukuoka, Japan
Hokkaido University  Sapporo, Japan 
Tohoku University Sendai, Japan
Åbo Akademi University   Turku, Finland
Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany 
Universität Karlsruhe Karlsruhe, Germany
Bandung Institute of Technology  Bandung, Indonesia
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland
Technical University of Aachen Aachen, Germany



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Advanced Fuel Research, Inc.
87 Church Street, East Hartford, CT 06108
Tel: 860-528-9806
Fax: 860-528-0648

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Last modified V3: September 18, 2009