Research Papers

Fuel Variation Effects in Propagation and Stabilization of Turbulent Counter-Flow Premixed Flames

[+] Author and Article Information
Ehsan Abbasi-Atibeh

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: ehsan.abbasi@mail.mcgill.ca

Sandeep Jella

Siemens Canada Limited,
Montreal, QC H9P 1A5, Canada;
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: sandeep.jella@siemens.com

Jeffrey M. Bergthorson

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: jeff.bergthorson@mcgill.ca

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 11, 2018; final manuscript received July 16, 2018; published online October 29, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(3), 031024 (Oct 29, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1481; doi: 10.1115/1.4041136 History: Received July 11, 2018; Revised July 16, 2018

Sensitivity to stretch and differential diffusion of chemical species are known to influence premixed flame propagation, even in the turbulent environment where mass diffusion can be greatly enhanced. In this context, it is convenient to characterize flames by their Lewis number (Le), a ratio of thermal-to-mass diffusion. The work reported in this paper describes a study of flame stabilization characteristics when Le is varied. The test data are comprised of Le1 (hydrogen), Le1 (methane), and Le>1 (propane) flames stabilized at various turbulence levels. The experiments were carried out in a hot exhaust opposed-flow turbulent flame rig (HOTFR), which consists of two axially opposed, symmetric jets. The stagnation plane between the two jets allows the aerodynamic stabilization of a flame and clearly identifies fuel influences on turbulent flames. Furthermore, high-speed particle image velocimetry (PIV), using oil droplet seeding, allowed simultaneous recordings of velocity (mean and rms) and flame surface position. These experiments, along with data processing tools developed through this study, illustrated that in the mixtures with Le1, turbulent flame speed increases considerably compared to the laminar flame speed due to differential diffusion effects, where higher burning rates compensate for the steepening average velocity gradient and keeps these flames almost stationary as bulk flow velocity increases. These experiments are suitable for validating the ability of turbulent combustion models to predict lifted, aerodynamically stabilized flames. In the final part of this paper, we model the three fuels at two turbulence intensities using the flamelet generated manifolds (FGM) model in a Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) context. Computations reveal that the qualitative flame stabilization trends reproduce the effects of turbulence intensity; however, more accurate predictions are required to capture the influences of fuel variations and differential diffusion.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Hu, E. , Huang, Z. , He, J. , Jin, C. , and Zheng, J. , 2009, “ Experimental and Numerical Study on Laminar Burning Characteristics of Premixed Methane–Hydrogen–Air Flames,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 34(11), pp. 4876–4888. [CrossRef]
Tang, C. , Huang, Z. , Jin, C. , He, J. , Wang, J. , Wang, X. , and Miao, H. , 2008, “ Laminar Burning Velocities and Combustion Characteristics of Propane–Hydrogen–Air Premixed Flames,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 33(23), pp. 4906–4914. [CrossRef]
Boschek, E. , Griebel, P. , and Jansohn, P. , 2007, “ Fuel Variability Effects on Turbulent, Lean Premixed Flames at High Pressures,” ASME Paper No. GT2007-27496.
Matalon, M. , 1983, “ On Flame Stretch,” Combust. Sci. Technol., 31(3–4), pp. 169–181. [CrossRef]
Law, C. , 1989, “ Dynamics of Stretched Flames,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 22(1), pp. 1381–1402. [CrossRef]
Williams, F. A. , 2000, “ Progress in Knowledge of Flamelet Structure and Extinction,” Prog. Energy Combust. Sci., 26(4–6), pp. 657–682. [CrossRef]
Law, C. K. , 2010, Combustion Physics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Marshall, A. , Lundrigan, J. , Venkateswaran, P. , Seitzman, J. , and Lieuwen, T. , 2015, “ Fuel Effects on Leading Point Curvature Statistics of High Hydrogen Content Fuels,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 35(2), pp. 1417–1424. [CrossRef]
Venkateswaran, P. , Marshall, A. , Seitzman, J. , and Lieuwen, T. , 2013, “ Pressure and Fuel Effects on Turbulent Consumption Speeds of H2/CO Blends,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 34(1), pp. 1527–1535. [CrossRef]
Libby, P. A. , and Williams, F. A. , 1982, “ Structure of Laminar Flamelets in Premixed Turbulent Flames,” Combust. Flame, 44(1–3), pp. 287–303. [CrossRef]
Chen, Y.-C. , and Bilger, R. W. , 2004, “ Experimental Investigation of Three-Dimensional Flame-Front Structure in Premixed Turbulent Combustion—Part II: Lean Hydrogen/Air Bunsen Flames,” Combust. Flame, 138(1–2), pp. 155–174. [CrossRef]
Abdel-Gayed, R. , Bradley, D. , Hamid, M. , and Lawes, M. , 1984, “ Lewis Number Effects on Turbulent Burning Velocity,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 20(1), pp. 505–512. [CrossRef]
Lipatnikov, A. , and Chomiak, J. , 2005, “ Molecular Transport Effects on Turbulent Flame Propagation and Structure,” Prog. Energy Combust. Sci., 31(1), pp. 1–73. [CrossRef]
Venkateswaran, P. , Marshall, A. , Shin, D. H. , Noble, D. , Seitzman, J. , and Lieuwen, T. , 2011, “ Measurements and Analysis of Turbulent Consumption Speeds of H2/CO Mixtures,” Combust. Flame, 158(8), pp. 1602–1614. [CrossRef]
Barlow, R. S. , Dunn, M. J. , Sweeney, M. S. , and Hochgreb, S. , 2012, “ Effects of Preferential Transport in Turbulent Bluff-Body-Stabilized Lean Premixed CH4/Air Flames,” Combust. Flame, 159(8), pp. 2563–2575. [CrossRef]
Salusbury, S. D. , Abbasi-Atibeh, E. , and Bergthorson, J. M. , 2017, “ The Effect of Lewis Number on Instantaneous Flamelet Speed and Position Statistics in Counter-Flow Flames With Increasing Turbulence,” ASME Paper No. GT2017-64821.
Yuen, F. , and Gülder, O. , 2009, “ Premixed Turbulent Flame Front Structure Investigation by Rayleigh Scattering in the Thin Reaction Zone Regime,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 32(2), pp. 1747–1754. [CrossRef]
Furukawa, J. , Hirano, T. , and Williams, F. A. , 1998, “ Burning Velocities of Flamelets in a Turbulent Premixed Flame,” Combust. Flame, 113(4), pp. 487–491. [CrossRef]
Ikeda, Y. , Kojima, J. , Nakajima, T. , Akamatsu, F. , and Katsuki, M. , 2000, “ Measurement of the Local Flamefront Structure of Turbulent Premixed Flames by Local Chemiluminescence,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 28(1), pp. 343–350. [CrossRef]
Driscoll, J. F. , 2008, “ Turbulent Premixed Combustion: Flamelet Structure and Its Effect on Turbulent Burning Velocities,” Prog. Energy Combust. Sci., 34(1), pp. 91–134. [CrossRef]
Coppola, G. , Coriton, B. , and Gomez, A. , 2009, “ Highly Turbulent Counterflow Flames: A Laboratory Scale Benchmark for Practical Systems,” Combust. Flame, 156(9), pp. 1834–1843. [CrossRef]
Mastorakos, E. , Taylor, A. , and Whitelaw, J. , 1995, “ Extinction of Turbulent Counterflow Flames With Reactants Diluted by Hot Products,” Combust. Flame, 102(1–2), pp. 101–114. [CrossRef]
Hampp, F. , and Lindstedt, R. , 2017, “ Quantification of Combustion Regime Transitions in Premixed Turbulent DME Flames,” Combust. Flame, 182, pp. 248–268. [CrossRef]
Borghi, R. , 1985, “ On the Structure and Morphology of Turbulent Premixed Flames,” Recent Advances in the Aerospace Sciences, Springer, Boston, MA, pp. 117–138.
Kolla, H. , and Swaminathan, N. , 2010, “ Strained Flamelets for Turbulent Premixed Flames—Part I: Formulation and Planar Flame Results,” Combust. Flame, 157(5), pp. 943–954. [CrossRef]
Donini, A. , Bastiaans, R. , van Oijen, J. , and de Goey, L. , 2015, “ Differential Diffusion Effects Inclusion With Flamelet Generated Manifold for the Modeling of Stratified Premixed Cooled Flames,” Proc. Combust. Inst., 35(1), pp. 831–837. [CrossRef]
van Oijen, J. , Donini, A. , Bastiaans, R. , ten Thije Boonkkamp, J. , and de Goey, L. , 2016, “ State-of-the-Art in Premixed Combustion Modeling Using Flamelet Generated Manifolds,” Prog. Energy Combust. Sci., 57, pp. 30–74. [CrossRef]
Coppola, G. , and Gomez, A. , 2009, “ Experimental Investigation on a Turbulence Generation System With High-Blockage Plates,” Exp. Therm. Fluid Sci., 33(7), pp. 1037–1048. [CrossRef]
Goodwin, D. G. , Moffat, H. K. , and Speth, R. L. , 2016, “ Cantera: An Object-Oriented Software Toolkit for Chemical Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and Transport Processes. Version 2.2.1,” Cantera Developers, accessed Aug. 17, 2018, http://www.cantera.org
Salusbury, S. D. , and Bergthorson, J. M. , 2015, “ Maximum Stretched Flame Speeds of Laminar Premixed Counter-Flow Flames at Variable Lewis Number,” Combust. Flame, 162(9), pp. 3324–3332. [CrossRef]
Glawe, G. E. , Holanda, R. , and Krause, L. N. , 1978, “ Recovery and Radiation Corrections and Time Constants of Several Sizes of Shielded and Unshielded Thermocouple Probes for Measuring Gas Temperature,” NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH, Technical Report No. NASA-TP-1099, E-9289.
Bradley, D. , and Matthews, K. , 1968, “ Measurement of High Gas Temperatures With Fine Wire Thermocouples,” J. Mech. Eng. Sci., 10(4), pp. 299–305. [CrossRef]
Tennekes, H. , and Lumley, J. , 1972, A First Course in Turbulence, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
Hinze, J. , 1975, Turbulence, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Balusamy, S. , Cessou, A. , and Lecordier, B. , 2011, “ Direct Measurement of Local Instantaneous Laminar Burning Velocity by a New PIV Algorithm,” Exp. Fluids, 50(4), pp. 1109–1121. [CrossRef]
Kheirkhah, S. , and Gülder, Ö. L. , 2015, “ Consumption Speed and Burning Velocity in Counter-Gradient and Gradient Diffusion Regimes of Turbulent Premixed Combustion,” Combust. Flame, 162(4), pp. 1422–1439. [CrossRef]
Abu-Gharbieh, R. , Hamarneh, G. , Gustavsson, T. , and Kaminski, C. , 2003, “ Level Set Curve Matching and Particle Image Velocimetry for Resolving Chemistry and Turbulence Interactions in Propagating Flames,” J. Math. Imaging Vision, 19(3), pp. 199–218. [CrossRef]
Kolla, H. , Rogerson, J. , and Swaminathan, N. , 2010, “ Validation of a Turbulent Flame Speed Model Across Combustion Regimes,” Combust. Sci. Technol., 182(3), pp. 284–308. [CrossRef]
Peters, N. , 2000, Turbulent Combustion, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Jella, S. , Bergthorson, J. , Kwong, W. Y. , and Steinberg, A. , 2018, “ RANS and LES Modeling of a Linear-Array Swirl Burner Using a Flamelet-Progress Variable Approach,” ASME Paper No. GT2018-75896.
Nguyen, P.-D. , Vervisch, L. , Subramanian, V. , and Domingo, P. , 2010, “ Multidimensional Flamelet-Generated Manifolds for Partially Premixed Combustion,” Combust. Flame, 157(1), pp. 43–61. [CrossRef]
Goldin, G. , Ren, Z. , Forkel, H. , Lu, L. , Tangirala, V. , and Karim, H. , 2012, “ Modeling CO with Flamelet-Generated Manifolds—Part 1: Flamelet Configuration,” ASME Paper No. GT2012-69528.
Guo, H. , Tayebi, B. , Galizzi, C. , and Escudié, D. , 2010, “ Burning Rates and Surface Characteristics of Hydrogen-Enriched Turbulent Lean Premixed Methane–Air Flames,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 35(20), pp. 11342–11348. [CrossRef]
Bergthorson, J. , and Dimotakis, P. , 2006, “ Particle Velocimetry in High-Gradient/High-Curvature Flows,” Exp. Fluids, 41(2), pp. 255–263. [CrossRef]
Egolfopoulos, F. N. , and Campbell, C. S. , 1999, “ Dynamics and Structure of Dusty Reacting Flows: Inert Particles in Strained, Laminar, Premixed Flames,” Combust. Flame, 117(1–2), pp. 206–226. [CrossRef]
Allen, M. D. , and Raabe, O. G. , 1985, “ Slip Correction Measurements of Spherical Solid Aerosol Particles in an Improved Millikan Apparatus,” Aerosol Sci. Technol., 4(3), pp. 269–286. [CrossRef]
Talbot, L. , 1981, “ Thermophoresis—A Review,” Rarefied Gas Dynamics, Parts I and II (Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, Vol. 74), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, VA, pp. 467–488.
Vincenti, W. , and Kruger, C. , 1965, “Introduction to Physical Gas Dynamics,” Wiley, New York.
Turns, S. R. , 1996, An Introduction to Combustion, McGraw-Hill, New York.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Processing techniques using PIV images: (a) a sample velocity vector field (down-sampled for clarity), (b) a sample flame-front contour, (c) Su measurement upstream of the flame front, and (d) 5 successive flame fronts centered at time ti and a schematic showing SF calculation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of HOTFR, and stabilized CH4-air turbulent flames at increasing turbulence intensities

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

(a) Most probable flame location (⟨Zf⟩) and (b) flame brush thickness (δT) correlations at increasing u′/SLo: C3H8-air (), CH4-air (), and H2-air () flames

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Borghi diagram showing turbulent premixed combustion regimes: experimental region of C3H8-air (), CH4-air (), and H2-air () flames

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Computational fluid dynamics model: (a) turbulent jet, (b) lifted flame front visualized by chemical source term, and (c) temperature contours

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Le influence on laminar and turbulent methane flames at ϕ=0.55: (a) SDR and (b) reaction rate

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Le influence on temperature and species: laminar flames of (a) methane and (b) hydrogen

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Le influence on heat release: laminar hydrogen flames

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Probability density functions of instantaneous leading edge displacement velocity (ST) (left), and flame position (Zf) (right) for: ((a) and (b)) C3H8-air, ((c) and (d)) CH4-air, and ((e) and (f)) H2-air flames at increasing u′/SLo. See Table 2 for u′/SLo values.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Effect of strain and turbulence intensity on temperature profiles

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Effect of strain on laminar chemical source of progress variable

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Turbulent flame location and brush thickness



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