Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

Prediction of Auto-Ignition Temperatures and Delays for Gas Turbine Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Roda Bounaceur, Baptiste Sirjean, René Fournet

Université de Lorraine,
1, Rue Grandville, BP 20451,
Nancy 54001, France

Pierre-Alexandre Glaude

Université de Lorraine,
1, Rue Grandville, BP 20451,
Nancy 54001, France
e-mail: pierre-alexandre.glaude@univ-lorraine.fr

Pierre Montagne, Matthieu Vierling

GE Energy Product-Europe,
20 Avenue de Maréchal Juin, BP 379,
Belfort 90007, France

Michel Molière

Université de Technologie
de Belfort Montbéliard,
Belfort Cedex 90010, France

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Combustion and Fuels Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 17, 2015; final manuscript received July 20, 2015; published online September 1, 2015. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(2), 021505 (Sep 01, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-15-1341; doi: 10.1115/1.4031264 History: Received July 17, 2015

Gas turbines burn a large variety of gaseous fuels under elevated pressure and temperature conditions. During transient operations, variable gas/air mixtures are involved in the gas piping system. In order to predict the risk of auto-ignition events and ensure a safe operation of gas turbines, it is of the essence to know the lowest temperature at which spontaneous ignition of fuels may happen. Experimental auto-ignition data of hydrocarbon–air mixtures at elevated pressures are scarce and often not applicable in specific industrial conditions. Auto-ignition temperature (AIT) data correspond to temperature ranges in which fuels display an incipient reactivity, with timescales amounting in seconds or even in minutes instead of milliseconds in flames. In these conditions, the critical reactions are most often different from the ones governing the reactivity in a flame or in high temperature ignition. Some of the critical paths for AIT are similar to those encountered in slow oxidation. Therefore, the main available kinetic models that have been developed for fast combustion are unfortunately unable to represent properly these low temperature processes. A numerical approach addressing the influence of process conditions on the minimum AIT of different fuel/air mixtures has been developed. Several chemical models available in the literature have been tested, in order to identify the most robust ones. Based on previous works of our group, a model has been developed, which offers a fair reconciliation between experimental and calculated AIT data through a wide range of fuel compositions. This model has been validated against experimental auto-ignition delay times corresponding to high temperature in order to ensure its relevance not only for AIT aspects but also for the reactivity of gaseous fuels over the wide range of gas turbine operation conditions. In addition, the AITs of methane, of pure light alkanes, and of various blends representative of several natural gas and process-derived fuels were extensively covered. In particular, among alternative gas turbine fuels, hydrogen-rich gases are called to play an increasing part in the future so that their ignition characteristics have been addressed with particular care. Natural gas enriched with hydrogen, and different syngas fuels have been studied. AIT values have been evaluated in function of the equivalence ratio and pressure. All the results obtained have been fitted by means of a practical mathematical expression. The overall study leads to a simple correlation of AIT versus equivalence ratio/pressure.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Chemsafe, “ Database of Evaluated Safety Characteristics,” DECHEMA, BAM und PTB, Frankfurt/M., Germany, Update 2006.
Zabetakis, M. G. , 1965, “ Flammability Characteristics of Combustible Gases and Vapours,” U.S. Department of Mines, Bulletin 627.
Reed, R. J. , 1986, North American Combustion Handbook, Vol. 1: Combustion, Fuels, Stoichiometry, Heat Transfer, Fluid Flow, 3rd ed., North America Manufacturing Company, Cleveland, OH, Table 10.2.
“ Air Liquide Gas Encyclopedia,” http://encyclopedia.airliquide.com/encyclopedia.asp
Beerer, D. J. , and McDonell, V. G. , 2008, “ Autoignition of Hydrogen and Air Inside a Continuous Flow Reactor With Application to Lean Premixed Combustion,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 130(5), p. 051507. [CrossRef]
Steinle, J. U. , and Franck, E. U. , 1995, “ High Pressure Combustion—Ignition Temperatures to 1000 bar,” Ber. Bunsenges. Phys. Chem., 99(1), pp. 66–73. [CrossRef]
Kong, D. , Eckhoff, R. K. , and Alfert, F. , 1995, “ Auto-Ignition of CH4/air, C3H8/air, CH4/C3H8/air and CH4/CO2/air Using a 1 l Ignition Bomb,” J. Hazard. Mater., 40(1), pp. 69–84. [CrossRef]
Reid, I . A. B. , Robinson, C. , and Smith, D. B. , 1984, “ Spontaneous Ignition of Methane: Measurement and Chemical Model,” International Symposium on Combustion, 20(1), pp. 1833–1843. [CrossRef]
Robinson, C. , and Smith, D. B. , 1984, “ The Auto-Ignition Temperature of Methane,” J. Hazard. Mater., 8(3), pp. 199–203. [CrossRef]
Caron, M. , Goethals, M. , De Smedt, G. , Berghmans, J. , Vliegen, S. , Van't Oost, E. , and van den Aarssen, A. , 1999, “ Pressure Dependence of the Auto-Ignition Temperature of Methane/Air Mixtures,” J. Hazard. Mater., 65(3), pp. 233–244. [CrossRef]
Norman, F. , 2008, “ Influence of Process Conditions on the Auto-Ignition Temperature of Gas Mixtures,” Ph.D. thesis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.
Tan, Y. , Fotache, C. G. , and Law, C. K. , 1999, “ Effects of NO on the Ignition of Hydrogen and Hydrocarbons by Heated Conterflowing Air,” Combust. Flame, 119(3), pp. 346–355. [CrossRef]
Norman, F. , Van den Schoor, F. , and Verplaetsen, F. , 2006, “ Auto-Ignition and Upper Explosion Limit of Rich Propane-Air Mixtures at Elevated Pressures,” J. Hazard. Mater., 137(2), pp. 666–671. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Van den Schoor, F. , Norman, F. , and Verplaetsen, F. , 2006, “ Influence of the Ignition Source Location on the Determination of the Explosion Pressure at Elevated Initial Pressures,” J. Loss Prev. Process Ind., 19(5), pp. 459–462. [CrossRef]
Chandraratna, M. R. , and Griffiths, J. F. , 1994, “ Pressure and Concentration Dependences of the Autoignition Temperature for Normal Butane + Air Mixtures in a Closed Vessel,” Combust. Flame, 99(3–4), pp. 626–634. [CrossRef]
Bartknecht, W. , 1993, Explosionsschutz, Grundlagen und Anwendung, Springer, Berlin, pp. 87–94.
EN 14522, 2005, “ Determination of the Minimum Ignition Temperature of Gases and Vapors,” CEN.
DIN 51974, 1969, “ Bestimmung der Zündtemperatur,” DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V., Berlin.
ASTM E 659–78, 1989, “ Standard Test Method for Auto-Ignition Temperature of Liquid Chemicals,” American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia.
ASTM D 2883–95, 1995, “ Standard Test Method of Reaction Threshold Temperature of Liquid and Solid Materials,” American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia.
Smith, G. P. , Golden, D. , Frenklach, M. , Moriarty, N. , Eiteneer, B. , Goldenberg, M. , Bowman, C. , Hanson, R. , Song, S. , Gardiner, W. , Lissianski, V. , and Qin, Z. , “ GRI-Mech 3.0,” http://www.me.berkeley.edu/gri_mech/
Hughes, K. J. , Turányi, T. , Clague, A. R. , and Pilling, M. J. , 2001, “ Development and Testing of a Comprehensive Chemical Mechanism for the Oxidation of Methane,” Int. J. Chem. Kinet., 33(9), pp. 513–538. [CrossRef]
De Ferrières, S. , El Bakali, A. , Lefort, B. , Montero, M. , and Pauwels, J. F. , 2008, “ Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Low-Pressure Laminar Premixed Synthetic Natural Gas/O2/N2 and Natural Gas/H2/O2/N2 Flames,” Combust. Flame, 154(3), pp. 601–623. [CrossRef]
Konnov, A. A. , Barnes, F. J. , Bromly, J. H. , Zhu, J. N. , and Zhang, D. , 2005, “ The Pseudo-Catalytic Promotion of Nitric Oxide Oxidation by Ethane at Low Temperatures,” Combust. Flame, 141(3), pp. 191–199. [CrossRef]
Marinov, N. M. , Pitz, W. J. , Westbrook, C. K. , Vincitore, A. M. , Castaldi, M. J. , and Senkan, S. M. , 1998, “ Aromatic and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Formation in a Laminar Premixed n-Butane Flame,” Combust. Flame, 114(1–2), pp. 192–213. [CrossRef]
Donato, N. , Aul, C. , Petersen, E. , Zinner, C. , Curran, H. , and Bourque, G. , 2010, “ Ignition and Oxidation of 50/50 Butane Isomer Blends,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 132(5), p. 051502. [CrossRef]
Buda, F. , Bounaceur, R. , Warth, V. , Glaude, P. A. , Fournet, R. , and Battin-Leclerc, F. , 2005, “ Progress Toward a Unified Detailed Kinetic Model for the Autoignition of Alkanes From C4 to C10 Between 600 and 1200 K,” Combust. Flame, 142(1–2), pp. 170–186. [CrossRef]
Tran, L.-S. , Glaude, P.-A. , Fournet, R. , and Battin-Leclerc, F. , 2013, “ Experimental and Modeling Study of Premixed Laminar Flames of Ethanol and Methane,” Energy Fuels, 27(4), pp. 2226–2245. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Glaude, P. A. , Conraud, V. , Fournet, R. , Battin-Leclerc, F. , Côme, G. M. , Scacchi, G. , Dagaut, P. , and Cathonnet, M. , 2002, “ Modeling the Oxidation of Mixtures of Primary Reference Automobile Fuels,” Energy Fuels, 16(5), pp. 1186–1195. [CrossRef]
Biet, J. , Hakka, M. H. , Warth, V. , Glaude, P.-A. , and Battin-Leclerc, F. , 2008, “ Experimental and Modeling Study of the Low-Temperature Oxidation of Large Alkanes,” Energy Fuels, 22(4), pp. 2258–2269. [CrossRef]
Glaude, P. A. , Herbinet, O. , Bax, S. , Biet, J. , Warth, V. , and Battin-Leclerc, F. , 2010, “ Modeling of the Oxidation of Methyl Esters—Validation for Methyl Hexanoate, Methyl Heptanoate, and Methyl Decanoate in a Jet-Stirred Reactor,” Combust. Flame, 157(11), pp. 2035–2050. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kee, R. J. , Rupley, F. M. , and Miller, J. A. , 1993, “CHEMKIN-II: A FORTRAN Chemical Kinetics Package for the Analysis of Gas-Phase Chemical Kinetics,” Sandia Laboratories Report No. SAND89-8009B.
Pekalski, A. A. , 2004, “ Theoretical and Experimental Study of Explosion Safety of Hydrocarbons Oxidation at Elevated Conditions,” Ph.D. thesis, UT Delft, The Netherlands.
Zhang, Y. , Jiang, X. , Wei, L. , Zhang, J. , Tang, C. , and Huang, Z. , 2012, “ Experimental and Modeling Study on Auto-Ignition Characteristics of Methane/Hydrogen Blends Under Engine Relevant Pressure,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 37(24), pp. 19168–19176. [CrossRef]
Lifshitz, A. , Scheller, K. , Burcat, A. , and Skinner, G. B. , 1971, “ Shock-Tube Investigation of Ignition in Methane-Oxygen-Argon Mixtures,” Combust. Flame, 16(3), pp. 311–321. [CrossRef]
Hidaka, Y. , Sato, K. , Hoshikawa, H. , Nishimori, T. , Takahashi, R. , Tanaka, H. , Inami, K. , and Ito, N. , 2000, “ Shock-Tube and Modelling Study of Ethane Pyrolysis and Oxidation,” Combust. Flame, 120(3), pp. 245–264. [CrossRef]
Horning, D. C. , Davidson, D. F. , and Hanson, R. K. , 2002, “ A Study of the High-Temperature Autoignition and Thermal Decomposition of Hydrocarbons,” J. Propul. Power, 18(2), pp. 363–371. [CrossRef]
De Vries, J. , and Petersen, E. L. , 2007, “ Autoignition of Methane-Based Fuel Blends Under Gas Turbine Conditions,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 31(2), pp. 3163–3171. [CrossRef]
Lamoureux, N. , and Paillard, C.-E. , 2003, “ Natural Gas Ignition Delay Times Behind Reflected Shock Waves: Application to Modelling and Safety,” Shock Waves, 13(1), pp. 57–68. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Minimum AIT versus number of carbon atoms for different fuel/air mixtures at 1 bar

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

AIT of methane/air mixture as a function of pressure: (a) equivalence ratio 2 and (b) equivalence ratio 14.3. Points are experimental data, lines are simulations.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

AIT of (a) propane/air and (b) n-butane/air mixture as a function of pressure. Points are experimental data, lines are simulations.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

AIT of methane/propane/air mixtures at P = 1 bar and different equivalence ratios. Points are experimental data, lines are simulations.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Auto-ignition delay times for methane/hydrogen/oxygen/argon mixtures. Points are experimental data, lines are simulations.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Auto-ignition delay times for methane (a), ethane (b), and n-butane (c) in shock tube. Points are experimental data, lines are simulations.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Auto-ignition delay times for (a) methane/ethane and (b) natural gas in shock tube. Points are experimental data, lines are simulations.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Simulated AITs for the blend B5 as a function of pressure and equivalence ratio

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Fit of coefficients of the AIT versus ϕ law as a function of pressure in the case of mixture B5




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In