Effects of hydrocarbon substitution on atmospheric hydrogen-air flame propagation

Chung King Law, O. C. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

318 Scopus citations


In order to evaluate the potential of partial hydrocarbon substitution to improve the safety of hydrogen use in general and the performance of internal combustion engines in particular, the outward propagation and development of surface cellular instability of spark-ignited spherical premixed flames of mixtures of hydrogen, hydrocarbon, and air were experimentally studied at NTP condition in a constant-pressure combustion chamber. With methane, ethylene, and propane being the substituents, the laminar burning velocities, the Markstein lengths, and the propensity of cell formation were experimentally determined, while the laminar burning velocities and the associated flame thicknesses were computed using recent kinetic mechanisms. Results show substantial reduction of laminar burning velocities with hydrocarbon substitution, and support the potential of propane as a suppressant of both diffusional-thermal and hydrodynamic cellular instabilities in hydrogen-air flames. Such a potential, however, was not found for methane and ethylene as substituents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-879
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


  • Combustion instability
  • Hydrogen combustion
  • Hydrogen explosion


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