Assessment of physical soot inception model in normal and inverse laminar diffusion flames

Junjun Guo, Peng Liu, Erica Quadarella, Kiran Yalamanchi, Ibraheem Alsheikh, Carson Chu, Fengshan Liu, S. Mani Sarathy, William L. Roberts, Hong G. Im*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Despite the extensive studies, accurate and reliable modeling of the soot inception process, especially at high pressure conditions, amenable to multi-dimensional flame simulations remains a challenge. In this study, the physical inception model was comprehensively evaluated in the fully-resolved simulations of laminar normal diffusion flame (NDF) and inverse diffusion flame (IDF) at elevated pressures. The effects of inception models on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and soot predictions were quantitatively analyzed, including the selection of soot precursors and collision efficiency models. The results show that the quantitative PAH predicted by different collision efficiency models can differ by an order of magnitude. Compared to the constant efficiency, the temperature-dependent collision efficiency was found to improve the quantitative PAH predictions and the prediction of the spatial soot distribution in NDF, with an increased level of soot on the flame centerline. The inclusion of small-sized PAH species (such as A2, A2R5, and A3) as soot precursors was also found to improve the quantitative prediction of soot volume fraction. The physical inception model performs well in NDF using the optimal parameters. Moreover, simultaneous measurements of PAH and soot were performed in IDF configuration for the evaluation of the physical inception model. Contrary to NDF, PAHs and soot are formed on the outer side of the flame and cannot be oxidized in IDF. The experiment observed that the PAHs concentration increased in the post-flame region, while the soot concentration remained unchanged. However, the opposite trend was obtained in simulations, that is, the PAHs concentration decreased while the soot concentration increased, because the physical inception model predicts the inception behavior in the post-flame area, resulting in persistent transformation of PAHs into soot particles. To improve the predictions in IDF, the radical effects in the inception process need to be considered in the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112420
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was sponsored by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and computational resources were provided by the KAUST Supercomputing Laboratory (KSL) .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Combustion Institute


  • Inception model
  • Inverse diffusion flame
  • Normal diffusion flame
  • PAHs
  • Soot volume fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of physical soot inception model in normal and inverse laminar diffusion flames'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this