A mechanistic study of Soret diffusion in hydrogen-air flames

F. Yang, Chung King Law, C. J. Sung, H. Q. Zhang

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62 Scopus citations


The separate and combined effects of Soret diffusion of the hydrogen molecule (H2) and radical (H) on the structure and propagation speed of the freely-propagating planar premixed flames, and the strain-induced extinction response of premixed and nonpremixed counterflow flames, were computationally studied for hydrogen-air mixtures using a detailed reaction mechanism and transport properties. Results show that, except for the conservative freely-propagating planar flame, Soret diffusion of H2 increases the fuel concentration entering the flame structure and as such modifies the mixture stoichiometry and flame temperature, which could lead to substantial increase (decrease) of the flame speed for the lean (rich) mixtures respectively. On the other hand, Soret diffusion of H actively modifies its concentration and distribution in the reaction zone, which in turn affects the individual reaction rates. In particular, the reaction rates of the symmetric, twin, counterflow premixed flames, especially at near-extinction states, can be increased for lean flames but decreased for rich flames, whose active reaction regions are respectively located at, and away from, the stagnation surface. However, such a difference is eliminated for the single counterflow flame stabilized by an opposing cold nitrogen stream, as the active reaction zone up to the state of extinction is always located away from the stagnation surface. Finally, the reaction rate is increased in general for diffusion flames because the bell-shaped temperature distribution localizes the H concentration to the reaction region which has the maximum temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Extinction
  • Fickian diffusion
  • Flame structure
  • Hydrogen-air flames
  • Soret diffusion


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