Chemistry and transport effects on critical flame initiation radius for alkanes and aromatic fuels

Jeffrey S. Santner, Sang Hee Won, Yiguang Ju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The combined effects of transport and fuel reactivity on the critical flame initiation radius for n-alkanes and aromatics were studied. The effects of transport on the critical flame initiation radius were examined by comparing n-alkanes with different sizes (n-heptane vs. n-decane) but similar molecular structure and reactivity. The effect of fuel reactivity and chemistry on the flame initiation radius were investigated by comparing two alkylated benzene isomers 135-trimethylbenzene and n-propylbenzene. The fuel transport properties heating value and fuel chemistry all influenced the critical flame radius. For lean mixtures of large n-alkanes with similar fuel reactivity the critical radius was similar and decreased with increasing equivalence ratio. The ignition failure in internal combustion engines and turbine engine relight can be reduced by varying the transport-weighted enthalpy fuel reactivity equivalence ratio and pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1457-1465
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Critical radius
  • Outwardly propagating spherical premixed flame
  • Radical index
  • Transport-weighted enthalpy


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