Numerical simulation of turbulent propane-air combustion with nonhomogeneous reactants

D. C. Haworth, R. J. Blint, B. Cuenot, T. J. Poinsot

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155 Scopus citations


High-resolution two-dimensional numerical simulations have been performed for premixed turbulent propane-air flames propagating into regions of nonhomogeneous reactant stoichiometry. Simulations include complex chemical kinetics, realistic molecular transport, and fully resolved hydrodynamics (no turbulence model). Aerothermochemical conditions (pressure, temperature, stoichiometry, and turbulence velocity scale) approach those in an automotive gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine at a low-speed, part-load operating condition. Salient findings are as follows: (1) There is no leakage of the primary fuel (propane) behind an initial thin premixed heat-release zone. This 'primary premixed flame' can be described using a monotonic progress variable and laminar premixed flamelet concepts. (2) For the conditions simulated, differences in global heat release and flame area (length) between homogeneous and nonhomogeneous reactants having the same overall stoichiometry are small. (3) Beyond three-to-four flame thicknesses behind the primary flame, practically all hydrocarbon fuel has broken down into CO and H2. (4) The rate of heat release in the 'secondary reaction zone' behind the primary premixed flame is governed by turbulent mixing and the kinetics of CO2 production. Mixture-fraction-conditioned secondary heat release, CO, and CO2 production rates are qualitatively similar to results from a first-order conditional moment closure (CMC) model; CMC gives poor results for H2, H2O, and radical species. Description of the secondary heat release using steady laminar diffusion flamelet concepts is problematic. (5) Of the chemical species considered, HCO mass fraction or the product of CH2O and OH mass fractions correlates best with local heat-release rate [1]. (6) Computational considerations demand modifications to chemical mechanisms involving C3H7 and CH3CO. Specific changes are proposed to strike a satisfactory balance between accuracy and computational efficiency over a broad range of reactant stoichiometry. Copyright (C) 2000 The Combustion Institute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-417
Number of pages23
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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