Thermal and chemical effects of differential diffusion in turbulent non-premixed H2 flames

Wang Han, Arne Scholtissek, Felix Dietzsch, Christian Hasse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

As a renewable fuel, hydrogen (H2) may play an increasingly important role in the development and control of piston and gas turbine engines to achieve zero carbon emissions. Predictive modeling of H2-fueled combustion processes requires a clear understanding of differential diffusion (DD) due to the high diffusivity of H2. On the assumption that turbulent mixing is a far more dominant process than molecular mixing, DD effects are typically neglected in turbulent combustion simulations to reduce modeling complications. While this assumption is reasonable for hydrocarbon fuels, it is less valid for H2 combustion, where DD is significant. In this work, two three-dimensional direct numerical simulations of temporally evolving turbulent H2 jet flames with and without considering DD are performed and compared with laminar flamelet solutions to assess DD effects under turbulent conditions. The emphasis is placed on assessing the suitability of classical mixture fraction Z and Bilger mixture fraction ZBilger as conditioning variables for non-premixed turbulent combustion modeling through analyzing DD effects on flame structure, chemical reactions, and tangential diffusion (TD). Furthermore, the persistence of DD effects under turbulent conditions and the suitability of a conventional DD parameter are investigated by comparing the turbulent flames to laminar flamelet solutions. It is found that conditioning the thermochemical state on ZBilger helps to capture DD effects and mitigate the relative contribution of TD, which gives ZBilger advantages over Z when employing flamelet modeling. Due to close coupling between DD and local chemical reactions, DD can affect the turbulent/laminar flames in the form of thermal effects due to the change in flame temperature, chemical effects due to the change in chemical reactions, and transport effects due to multiple species with varying diffusivities that could result in the difference between Z and ZBilger. While the transport effects are suppressed, significant chemical and thermal effects of DD still persist under turbulent conditions, which indicates that the DD parameter is probably unsuitable for comprehensively characterizing and assessing DD effects on the structure of turbulent non-premixed flames.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2627-2634
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number2
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • DNS
  • Differential diffusion
  • Thermal and chemical effects
  • Tangential diffusion


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