Topological and chemical characteristics of turbulent flames at MILD conditions

Dimitris M. Manias, Efstathios Al Tingas, Yuki Minamoto, Hong G. Im

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Dominant physical processes that characterize the combustion of a lean methane/air mixture, diluted with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), under turbulent MILD premixed conditions are identified using the combined approach of Computational Singular Perturbation (CSP) and Tangential Stretching Rate (TSR). TSR is a measure to combine the time scale and amplitude of all active modes and serves as a rational metric for the true dynamical characteristics of the system, especially in turbulent reacting flows in which reaction and turbulent transport processes compete. Applied to the MILD conditions where the flame structures exhibit nearly distributed combustion modes, the TSR metric was found to be an excellent diagnostic tool to depict the regions of important activities. In particular, the analysis of turbulent DNS data revealed that the system's dynamics is mostly dissipative in nature, as the chemically explosive modes are largely suppressed by the dissipative action of transport. On the other hand, the convective transport associated with turbulent eddies play a key role in bringing the explosive nature into the system. In the turbulent MILD conditions under study, the flame structure appears nearly in the distributed combustion regime, such that the conventional statistics conditioned over the progress variable becomes inappropriate, but TSR serves as an automated and systematic way to depict the topology of such complex flames. In addition, further analysis of the CSP modes revealed a strong competition between explosive and dissipative modes, the former favored by hydrogen-related reactions and the convection of CH4, and the latter by carbon-related processes. This competition results in a much smaller region of explosive dynamics in contrast to the widespread existence of explosive modes.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)86-98
Number of pages13
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • CSP
  • MILD combustion
  • TSR
  • Turbulent flames


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