Direct numerical simulations of NOx effect on multistage autoignition of DME/air mixture in the negative temperature coefficient regime for stratified HCCI engine conditions

Hossam A. El-Asrag, Yiguang Ju

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45 Scopus citations


Direct numerical simulations (DNSs), for a stratified flow in HCCI engine-like conditions, are performed to investigate the effects of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) by NOx and temperature/mixture stratification on autoignition of dimethyl ether (DME) in the negative temperature coefficient (NTC) region. Detailed chemistry for a DME/air mixture with NOx addition is employed and solved by a hybrid multi-time scale (HMTS) algorithm. Three ignition stages are observed. The results show that adding (1000ppm) NO enhances both low and intermediate temperature ignition delay times by the rapid OH radical pool formation (one to two orders of magnitude higher OH radicals concentrations are observed). In addition, NO from EGR was found to change the heat release rates differently at each ignition stage, where it mainly increases the low temperature ignition heat release rate with minimal effect on the ignition heat release rates at the second and third ignition stages. Sensitivity analysis is performed and the important reactions pathways for low temperature chemistry and ignition enhancement by NO addition are specified. The DNSs for stratified turbulent ignition show that the scales introduced by the mixture and thermal stratifications have a stronger effect on the second and third stage ignitions. Compared to homogenous ignition, stratified ignition shows a similar first autoignition delay time, but about 19% reduction in the second and third ignition delay times. Stratification, however, results in a lower averaged LTC ignition heat release rate and a higher averaged hot ignition heat release rate compared to homogenous ignition. The results also show that molecular transport plays an important role in stratified low temperature ignition, and that the scalar mixing time scale is strongly affected by local ignition. Two ignition-kernel propagation modes are observed: a wave-like, low-speed, deflagrative mode (the D-mode) and a spontaneous, high-speed, kinetically driven ignition mode (the S-mode). Three criteria are introduced to distinguish the two modes by different characteristic time scales and Damkhöler (Da) number using a progress variable conditioned by a proper ignition kernel indicator (IKI). The results show that the spontaneous ignition S-mode is characterized by low scalar dissipation rate, high displacement speed flame front, and high mixing Damkhöler number, while the D-mode is characterized by high scalar dissipation rate, low displacement speeds in the order of the laminar flame speed and a lower than unity Da number. The proposed criteria are applied at the different ignition stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-269
Number of pages14
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Dimethyl ether
  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Exhaust gas recirculation
  • HCCI engines
  • Low temperature ignition


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