Effects of water vapor addition on the laminar burning velocity of oxygen-enriched methane flames

A. N. Mazas*, B. Fiorina, D. A. Lacoste, T. Schuller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


The effects of steam addition on the laminar burning velocity of premixed oxygen-enriched methane flames are investigated at atmospheric pressure. Experiments are carried out with an axisymmetric burner on which laminar conical flames are stabilized. A newly devised steam production system is used to dilute the reactants with water vapor. The oxygen-enrichment ratio in the oxidizer, defined as O2/(O2+N2) (mol.), is varied from 0.21 (air) to 1.0 (pure oxygen). The equivalence ratio ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 and the steam molar fraction in the reactive mixture is varied from 0 to 0.50. For all compositions examined, the reactive mixture is preheated to a temperature Tu=373K. Laminar flame speeds are determined with the flame area method using a Schlieren apparatus. The deviations induced by stretch effects due to aerodynamic strain and flame curvature are assessed using Particle Imaging Velocimetry measurements and flame images, and these data are used to estimate the uncertainty of the flame speed measurements. The experiments are completed by numerical simulations conducted with the PREMIX code using different detailed kinetic mechanisms. It is shown that the laminar flame speed of CH4/O2/N2/H2O(v) mixtures features a quasi-linear decrease with increasing steam molar fraction, even at high steam dilution rates. Numerical predictions are in good agreement with experimental data for all compositions explored, except for low dilution rates XH2O<0.10 in methane-oxygen mixtures, where the flame speed is slightly underestimated by the calculations. It is also shown that steam addition has a non-negligible chemical impact on the flame speed for methane-air flames, mainly due to water vapor high chaperon efficiency in third-body reactions. This effect is however strongly attenuated when the oxygen concentration is increased in the reactive mixture. For highly oxygen-enriched flames, steam can be considered as an inert diluent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2428-2440
Number of pages13
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Conical flames
  • Laminar burning velocity
  • Oxy-fuel combustion
  • Oxygen-enhanced combustion
  • Steam addition
  • Water vapor addition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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