Heat release characteristics of ammonia flames in MILD conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ammonia (NH3) combustion is an attractive energy source with zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a potential hydrogen-combustion enabler. In addition, the availability of ammonia and its amenability to transportation make it appealing to future energy supply. To provide fundamental insights into the heat release characteristics of ammonia in moderate or intense low oxygen dilution (MILD) combustion, one-dimensional laminar and two-dimensional turbulent premixed flames are studied numerically. In particular, the flame structure and heat release distribution of ammonia and ammonia-hydrogen premixed flames are examined under conventional and MILD, and preheated conditions, respectively. The results show that stoichiometric ammonia MILD flames differ from normal ammonia flames producing NH2 earlier, which results in the formation of a radical pool that shifts the chemical pathway towards hydrogen-related chemistry. The NH2 radical serves as a precursor for the ammonia flame and characterizes the reaction zone, and plays a crucial role in bringing the explosive nature into the system. For fixed ratios of the root-mean-square turbulent velocity fluctuation to the laminar flame speed and integral length scale to the laminar flame thickness, the flame surface wrinkling is comparable between the stoichiometric ammonia flame at MILD and non-MILD conditions. Furthermore, the hydrogen enrichment of the lean ammonia flame results in a significant increase in heat release rate due to the preferential diffusion effect. The study also examines chemical markers to identify heat-releasing regions of the flames and proposes the use of NH2 × O (on a mass fraction basis) as a suitable indicator of regions with high chemical activity and correlates well with the heat release for the MILD and non-MILD ammonia flames as well as ammonia-hydrogen flames at both laminar and turbulent conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129138
StatePublished - Aug 7 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-09-06
Acknowledgements: The work presented throughout this manuscript was sponsored and funded by the Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Computational resources were provided by the KAUST Supercomputing Laboratory (KSL).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Heat release characteristics of ammonia flames in MILD conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this