Ozone Activated Cool Diffusion Flames of Butane Isomers in a Counterflow Facility

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Proceeding from the aim to reduce global pollution emissions from the continuous burning of hydrocarbons stimulated by increasing energy demand, more efficient and ultra-low emissions’ combustion concepts such as the homogenous charge compression ignition engines (HCCI) have been developed. These new engines rely on the low temperature chemistry (LTC) combustion concept. A detailed investigation of the properties of cool flames, governed by LTC, is essential for the design of these new engines. The primary goal of this work was to build a fundamental counterflow experiment for cool flames studies in a diffusive system, to better understand combustion in LTC engines. The project was intended to provide a basic understanding of the low-temperature reactivity and cool flames properties of butane isomers under atmospheric pressure conditions. This was achieved by establishing self-sustaining cool flames through a novel technique of ozone addition to an oxygen stream in a non-premixed counterflow model. The ignition and extinction limits of butane isomers’ cool flames have been investigated under a variety of strain rates. Results revealed that establishment of cool flames are favored at lower strain rates. Iso-butane was less reactive than n-butane by showing higher ignition and extinction limits. Ozone addition showed a significant influence on cool flame ignition and sustenance; it was found that increasing ozone concentration in the oxidizer stream dramatically increased the reactivity of both fuels. Results showed increased fuel reactivity as the temperature of the fuel stream outlet increased. 4 A numerical analysis was performed to simulate ignition and extinction of the cool flame in diffusive systems. The results revealed that ignition and extinction limits of cool flames are predominantly governed by LTC. The model qualitatively captured experimental trends for both fuels; however, it overpredicted both ignition and extinction limits under all strain rates and ozone concentrations. The discrepancies were within a factor of eight for the ignition limit and a factor of two for the extinction limit. Finally, sensitivity analyses were conducted to understand the reactions responsible for cool flames ignition. It was found that majority of the sensitive reactions are those that occur at low temperatures.
Date of AwardApr 2017
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMani Sarathy (Supervisor)


  • ozone activated
  • cool flames
  • butane isomers
  • counter flow

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