Direct numerical simulations of non-premixed ethylene-air flames: Local flame extinction criterion

Vivien R. Lecoustre, Paul G. Arias, Somesh P. Roy, Zhaoyu Luo, Daniel C. Haworth, Hong G. Im, Tianfeng Lu, Arnaud C. Trouvé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of ethylene/air diffusion flame extinctions in decaying two-dimensional turbulence were performed. A Damköhler-number-based flame extinction criterion as provided by classical large activation energy asymptotic (AEA) theory is assessed for its validity in predicting flame extinction and compared to one based on Chemical Explosive Mode Analysis (CEMA) of the detailed chemistry. The DNS code solves compressible flow conservation equations using high order finite difference and explicit time integration schemes. The ethylene/air chemistry is simulated with a reduced mechanism that is generated based on the directed relation graph (DRG) based methods along with stiffness removal. The numerical configuration is an ethylene fuel strip embedded in ambient air and exposed to a prescribed decaying turbulent flow field. The emphasis of this study is on the several flame extinction events observed in contrived parametric simulations. A modified viscosity and changing pressure (MVCP) scheme was adopted in order to artificially manipulate the probability of flame extinction. Using MVCP, pressure was changed from the baseline case of 1 atm to 0.1 and 10 atm. In the high pressure MVCP case, the simulated flame is extinction-free, whereas in the low pressure MVCP case, the simulated flame features frequent extinction events and is close to global extinction. Results show that, despite its relative simplicity and provided that the global flame activation temperature is correctly calibrated, the AEA-based flame extinction criterion can accurately predict the simulated flame extinction events. It is also found that the AEA-based criterion provides predictions of flame extinction that are consistent with those provided by a CEMA-based criterion. This study supports the validity of a simple Damköhler-number-based criterion to predict flame extinction in engineering-level CFD models. © 2014 The Combustion Institute.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2933-2950
Number of pages18
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, PetaApps Program awarded to the multiple institutions, with Grant Nos.: OCI-0904660, OCI-0904480, OCI-0904649, OCI-0904771, OCI-0904818, OCI-0905008. The computational resources for the DNS simulations were supported by the NERSC. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of R. Sankaran at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; W. Wang from University of Tennessee; and Kwan-Liu Ma from University of California at Davis, for their help and helpful discussions in this work.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct numerical simulations of non-premixed ethylene-air flames: Local flame extinction criterion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this