Numerical simulation of Lewis number effects on lean premixed turbulent flames

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published





A dominant factor in determining the burning rate of a premixed turbulent flame is the degree to which the flame front is wrinkled by turbulence. Higher turbulent intensities lead to greater wrinkling of the flame front and an increase in the turbulent burning rate. This picture of turbulent flame dynamics must be modified, however, to accommodate the affects of variations in the local propagation speed of the flame front. Classical flame analysis characterizes these local variations in propagation speed by the Markstein number which represents the response of the flame front to curvature and strain. In this paper, we consider lean premixed flames for three different fuels having widely varying fuel Lewis numbers corresponding to widely varying Markstein numbers. In particular, we present numerical simulations of premixed turbulent flames for lean hydrogen, propane and methane mixtures in two dimensions. Each simulation is performed at turbulence conditions similar to those found in laboratory-scale experiments and is performed using detailed chemical kinetics and transport properties. We discuss the effect of Lewis number on the overall flame morphology and explore the dependence of local flame propagation speed on flame curvature. We also explore the relationship between local flame speed and experimentally accessible variables such as OH concentration. Finally, we focus on the low Lewis number case, hydrogen, in which the flame front is broken indicating local extinction.


Proceedings of the Combustion Institute



Year of Publication





1540-7489doi: DOI: 10.1016/j.proci.2006.07.216