Author ORCID Identifier



Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan

Committee Member

Zhichao Liu

Committee Member

Hailin Li


Decarbonizing fossil fuel usage is crucial in mitigating the impacts of climate change. CO2, which comprises the major portion of greenhouse gas, is emitted from burning fossil fuels. One of the significant sources of fossil fuel user is industrial process heating, and most of the heating in industrial processes is achieved through boilers. Electrification is a promising solution for decarbonizing these boilers, as it enables renewable energy sources to generate electricity, which can then be used to power the electric boilers. The electrification of boilers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and increase energy efficiency. However, it requires significant investment and infrastructure upgrades, which makes decision-makers reluctant to electrification. This research develops a user-driven simulation model with realistic data and potential temperature data for a location to estimate boilers' current energy and fuel usage and determine the equivalent electrical boiler capacity and energy usage. The model is based on the first law of thermodynamics and the heat balance of the system. In the model, factors such as current boiler capacity, steam temperature and pressure, condensate, makeup water, blowdown, surface area, and flue gas information are taken as input. In addition, the user must provide the end user and some facility operating data. Random numbers generate the hourly temperature variation for a year for discrete event Monte Carlo Simulation, and the system's heat balance is calculated as a function of the hourly temperature and the given data. The simulation generates hourly firing factor, energy usage, fuel usage, and CO2 emission of boilers for a whole year, and the result compares the fossil fuel and electrical boilers. The simulated data are validated using real system data, and sensitivity analysis of the model is performed by varying the input data. The simulation model is developed in Microsoft Excel® using the Visual Basic Application (VBA)® for easy access to the user to aid managers and operators in making critical decisions about their system. Decarbonizing fossil fuel boilers through electrification is critical to achieving net-zero emissions and creating a sustainable future.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending

Available for download on Saturday, April 27, 2024