Experimental and modelling studies of the effects of methanol and ethanol addition on the laminar premixed low-pressure n-heptane/toluene flames

Hanjun Xu, Chunde Yao*, Guanglan Xu, Zhandong Wang, Hanfeng Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The effects of methanol and ethanol on a laminar premixed low-pressure (30Torr) n-heptane/toluene flame were investigated by using synchrotron photoionization and molecular-beam mass spectrometry techniques. The overall carbon flux was maintained constant (0.6g/min) and the equivalence ratio was kept at 2.0 for all the tested flames. Mole fraction profiles of major and intermediate species including most aromatic species were derived and compared among the flames. Simulations were performed based a multi-fuels kinetic mechanism, and the predicted concentrations of most flame species agree well with the measured results. The addition of alcohol showed negligible chemical effect on the hydrocarbon fuels decomposition. Meanwhile the formation of aromatic hydrocarbon intermediates, particularly of those that formed at the later stages of reaction zone, was significantly inhibited. The kinetic study shows that massive HO2 and OH radicals are induced by alcohol addition at the intermediate-temperature region. Thus, the rate of toluene consumption through hydrogen abstraction increases at this region. For this reason as well as that toluene is partially replaced by alcohol fuels, the toluene consumption rate decreases in the followed high-temperature polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) formation region, which leads to the more significant decrease in PAHs production rates due to the amplification effect of combination reactions in PAHs formation. Such phenomenon indicates that the introduction of alcohol could significantly restrain the formation of aromatic hydrocarbons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1344
Number of pages12
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial support by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51176135 ) and National High-tech R&D Program of China (863 Program) (No. 2012AA111719 ) of the Ministry of Sci. & Tech. of China. We’d like also to thank the assistance and advice in the experiment and modelling from Prof. Fei Qi and Mr. Jianghuai Cai in National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China.


  • Diesel
  • Ethanol
  • Laminar premixed flame
  • Methanol
  • N-Heptane
  • Toluene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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