Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2019, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (2): 158-166.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201802272

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Role of Low-Temperature Fuel Chemistry on Turbulent Flame Propagation

Fan ZHANG,Zhe REN,Shenghui ZHONG,Mingfa YAO,Zhijun PENG*()   

  • Received:2017-12-21 Published:2018-07-10
  • Contact: Zhijun PENG
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51506146);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(91541205)


In modern advanced internal combustion engines such as homogeneous compression ignition engine (HCCI) and reactivity controlled compression ignition engine (RCCI), turbulence/chemistry interactions have a dramatic influence on the combustion efficiency. In particular, the low-temperature fuel chemistry and two-stage ignition of large hydrocarbon fuels can significantly affect the turbulent flame regimes and propagation. The turbulent flame propagation and flame structure of a turbulent premixed n-heptane/air flame is simulated in a slot, i.e., reactor-assisted turbulent slot (RATS) burner. In the center, a premixed n-heptane/air gas mixture flows out from the burner, exiting into the surrounding atmosphere. In order to maintain a high Reynolds number for the flame, a pilot flame consisting of stoichiometric methane/air is applied. The GRI3.0 mechanism for methane/air mixture is adopted. A three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulation model is established based on OpenFOAM reactingFoam solver. A reduced kinetic mechanism of n-heptane consisting of 44 species and 112 reactions is employed, which is validated against the detailed mechanism with regard to the ignition delay time over a wide range of the initial temperature, equivalence ratio, and pressure. Then, the effects of the reactant temperature (ranging from 450 to 700 K), inlet velocity (6 m·s−1 and 10 m·s−1), and pre-flame flow residence time (100 ms and 60 ms) on the turbulent flame combustion of the n-heptane/air mixture with an equivalent ratio of 0.6, are investigated by performing 3D simulations. Twelve cases are considered and analyzed based on the flow residence time and ignition delay time. The 2D span-wise temperature contour is used to show that when the ignition Da number and fuel reactivity increase, the flame temperature increases and the flame height decreases, indicating a stronger turbulent burning velocity (ST). The results coincide well with experiment results and indicate that the extent of fuel oxidation is affected by the reactant temperature and inlet velocity during the low-temperature ignition stage, since the ratio between the ignition delay time and flow residence time plays an important role. Moreover, a quantitative analysis is performed on the flame front. The intermediate species CH is used to mark the thin reaction zone, and the turbulent burning velocity is obtained. Two branches of turbulent burning velocities verified the upper and lower limits and are consistent with the fitting correlation of ST/SL from a previous semi-implicit expression by Won et al. (2014), in which SL is laminar burning velocity. In the upper limit, the fuel decomposes and produces a large amount of intermediate species like CH2O in the pre-heat zone, which subsequently increases the turbulent burning velocity. While in the lower limit in which the flow residence time is shorter than the first ignition delay time, it shows a smaller turbulent burning velocity and a thin reaction zone, which is in chemically-frozen-flow regime. A transitional regime between the low- to high-temperature ignition regimes is also identified, where the ignition delay time is comparable with the heated flow residence time before the flame was produced. With an increase in the reactant temperature, the turbulent flame gradually changes from the chemically frozen flow regime to the low-temperature ignition regime. When the temperature is higher than a certain value, the low-temperature ignition will not happen again and the flame will be classified as being in the high-temperature ignition regime.

Key words: Low temperature chemistry (LTC), Two-stage ignition, n-Heptane, Flame regimes


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