Experimental data for velocity field, temperatures, and gas composition have been obtained from a 50 kW axisymmetric non-swirling natural gas fired combustion setup under two different settings. The reactor was constructed to simulate the conditions in the freeboard of a grate-fired boiler but under well-defined conditions. The experimental results are compared to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling predictions, using the eddy dissipation model (EDM) its well as the eddy dissipation concept (EDC). The use of EDC allows for implementation of more advanced combustion schemes; we have tested the four-step global mechanism by Jones and Lindstedt (Combust. Flame 1988, 73, 233-249), and the 16 species and 41 reaction skeletal mechanism by Yang and Pope (Combust. Flame 1998, 112 16-32). The CFD model captured the main features of the combustion process and flow patterns. The application of more advanced chemical mechanisms did not improve the prediction of the overall combustion process but did provide additional information about species (especially H(2) and radicals), which is desirable for postprocessing pollutant formation.