Chemical flux analysis of low-temperature plasma-enhanced oxidation of methane and hydrogen in argon

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Plasma can be used to enhance the reactivity of combustible mixtures at low temperatures. In this article, the chemical pathways predicted by three different reaction mechanisms are investigated for the low-temperature oxidation of hydrogen and methane. To validate our model and the reaction mechanisms, the numerical results are compared against experimental results in a diluted flow reactor. Our model with all three reaction mechanisms predicts trends similar to those observed in the experiments. Moreover, all predicted quantities show reasonable quantitative agreement with the experiments. Flux analysis is used to identify the main pathways of oxidation at different temperatures. Three different modes, each active in a different temperature range, are identified in the oxidation of hydrogen. When the temperature is increased, these modes become increasingly self-sustained. Similarly, three different pathways are identified in the oxidation of methane. Below 1000K, methane quickly removes hydroxyl radicals from the radical pool, inhibiting self-sustained oxidation. From our analysis, we conclude that plasma provides activation of the low-temperature chemistry by the generation of radicals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113037
Number of pages16
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


This work is part of the research program “Making plasma-assisted combustion efficient” with project number 16480, which is partly financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek


    • Hydrogen
    • Low-temperature chemistry
    • Mechanism
    • Methane
    • Plasma chemistry
    • Plasma-assisted combustion


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