Heat release rate variations in high hydrogen content premixed syngas flames at elevated pressures: effect of equivalence ratio

K.K.J. Ranga Dinesh, H. Shalaby, K.H. Luo, J.A. van Oijen, D. Thévenin

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Three-dimensional direct numerical simulations with detailed chemistry were performed to investigate the effect of equivalence ratio on spatial variations of the heat release rate and flame markers of hydrogen/carbon monoxide syngas expanding spherical premixed flames under turbulent conditions at elevated pressures. The flame structures and the heat release rate were analysed and compared between fuel-lean, stoichiometric and fuel-rich centrally ignited spherical flames. The equivalence ratio changes the balance among thermo-diffusive effects, Darrieus-Landau instability and turbulence, leading to different flame dynamics and the heat release rate distribution, despite exhibiting similar cellular and wrinkling flames. The Darrieus-Landau instability is relatively insensitive to the equivalence ratio while the thermo-diffusive process is strongly affected by the equivalence ratio. As the thermo-diffusive effect increases as the equivalence ratio decreases, the fuel-lean flame is more unstable than the fuel-rich flame with the stoichiometric flame in between, under the joint effects of the thermo-diffusive instability and the Darrieus-Landau instability. The local heat release rate and curvature display a positive correlation for the lean flame, no correlation for the stoichiometric flame, and negative correlation for the rich flame. Furthermore, for the fuel-lean flame, the low and high heat release rate values are found in the negative and positive curvature zones, respectively, while for the fuel-rich flame, the opposite trends are found. It is found that heat release rate markers based on species concentrations vary strongly with changing equivalence ratio. The results suggest that the HCO, HO2 concentrations and product of OH and CH2O concentrations show good correlation with the local heat release rate for H2/CO premixed syngas-air stoichiometric flame under turbulent conditions at elevated pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7029–7044
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number10
Early online date4 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2017


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Elevated pressure
  • Equivalence ratio
  • Flame markers
  • Heat release rate imaging
  • Syngas combustion


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