Explosion limits of H 2 /CH 4 /O 2 mixtures: Analyticity and dominant kinetics

Wenkai Liang, Zirui Liu, Chung K. Law

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25 Scopus citations


The pressure-temperature explosion limits of H 2 /CH 4 /O 2 mixtures were analyzed computationally and analytically. It is shown that, with the addition of around 5% of H 2 to the mixture, the explosion limit evolves from being monotonic to the non-monotonic Z-shaped response characteristic of H 2 /O 2 explosions. Such transition is much less sensitive compared to the H 2 /CO/O 2 system, and is explained by the different responses of the kinetic parameters corresponding to O and OH radical competitions by H 2 and CH 4. It is further shown that the explosion limits at various conditions can be reproduced well with a reduced mechanism of 22 elementary steps and 17 species. Further eigenvalue analysis with quasi-steady state simplification leads to accurate analytic solutions for the explosion limits, with explicit expressions for the controlling pathways for different H 2 and CH 4 concentrations. Both linear radical-reactant reactions and nonlinear radical-radical reactions of H 2 and CH 4 oxidations are investigated, leading to enhanced insight of this foundational component in the mechanisms of hydrocarbon oxidations and of the efficient utilization of natural gas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-500
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Eigenvalue analysis
  • Explosion limits
  • Methane
  • Syngas


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