Autoignition and front propagation in low temperature combustion engine environments

Gaurav Bansal*, Hong G. Im

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


In this paper, we computationally investigate the fundamental aspects of autoignition and subsequent combustion phenomena in low temperature combustion (LTC) engine environments using direct numerical simulations (DNS). In particular, the effects of thermal and equivalence ratio stratification on the autoignition and subsequent front propagation in high pressure and stratified hydrogen-air turbulent mixtures are studied using detailed chemistry. Depending on fuel injection timing, exhaust gas recirculation, and wall heat loss, different correlations between temperature (T) - equivalence ratio (φ) fields can exist prior to the major heat release event. Here, we investigate three cases with different initial T-φ correlations: (A) a baseline case of a uniform composition with temperature inhomogeneities only, (B) uncorrelated T-φ fields, and (C) negatively-correlated T-φ fields. Numerical diagnostics are developed based on an appropriately defined Damköhler number to distinguish different modes of heat release. It is found that the majority of heat release in the baseline case and the uncorrelated case occurs during the front propagation in the form of both spontaneous ignition fronts as well as deflagration waves, whereas the negatively correlated case ignites predominantly homogeneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2105-2112
Number of pages8
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoignition
  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Low temperature combustion engines
  • Thermal and compositional stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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