Investigation of soot sensitivity to strain rate in ethylene counterflow soot formation oxidation flames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Soot sensitivity to strain rate is mainly responsible for soot formation intermittence in practical combustion devices. This work provides a fundamental study on soot formation in Soot Formation Oxidation (SFO) counterflow flames at varying strain rates. While the problem has been extensively studied in Soot Formation (SF) configurations, where the dominant process is nucleation, investigations remain scarce in the corresponding SFO cases. In the latter, the high temperatures and strong oxidative environments make the surface reactions prevail over nucleation. The work provides a new dataset for ethylene SFO flames in a wide range of strain rates and sheds light on the main processes concurring in determining soot strain rate sensitivity in such conditions. In particular, the peak of soot volume fraction (SVF) is primarily controlled by surface growth and oxidation. The latter becomes progressively more dominant on the side of the SVF distribution toward the oxidizer nozzle, where the presence of oxidizing agents is significant. The soot mechanism adopted predicts a SVF distribution and sensitivity to strain rate in agreement with experimental data. The latter is found similar to corresponding SF cases, although soot loads in the two configurations differ by almost an order magnitude, and the SVF sensitivity is known to be more accentuated for lower soot loads. A deeper investigation revealed that the nucleation process through dimerizations primarily controls the SVF sensitivity, providing the onset of soot necessary for further growth. Then, the latter tends to reduce SVF sensitivity depending on its impact. PAH sensitivities mostly agree with theoretical observation even though further validations on the kinetic mechanism are needed to improve its predictions in lean conditions. The simplistic yet effective model based on the hybrid method of moments and the employment of a reduced kinetic mechanism makes the approach amenable for turbulent computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
StatePublished - Nov 29 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-12-02
Acknowledgements: This work was sponsored by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigation of soot sensitivity to strain rate in ethylene counterflow soot formation oxidation flames'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this