Flame propagation and counterflow nonpremixed ignition of mixtures of methane and ethylene

W. Liu, A. P. Kelley, C. K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The ignition temperature of nitrogen-diluted mixtures of methane and ethylene counterflowing against heated air was measured up to five atmospheres. In addition, the stretch-corrected laminar flame speeds of mixtures of air, methane and ethylene were determined from outwardly-propagating spherical flames up to 10 atmospheres, for extensive range of the lean-to-rich equivalence ratio. These experimental data, relevant to low- to moderately-high-temperature ignition chemistry and high-temperature flame chemistry, respectively, were subsequently compared with calculations using two detailed kinetic mechanisms. A chemical explosive mode analysis (CEMA) was then conducted to identify the dominant ignition chemistry and the role of ethylene addition in facilitating nonpremixed ignition. Furthermore, the hierarchical structure of the associated oxidation kinetics was examined by comparing the sizes and constituents of the skeletal mechanisms of the pure fuels and their mixtures, derived using the method of directed relation graph (DRG). The skeletal mechanism was further reduced by time-scale analysis, leading to a 24-species reduced mechanism from the detailed mechanism of USC Mech II, validated within the parameter space of the conducted experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1036
Number of pages10
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Counterflow ignition
  • Laminar flame speeds
  • Mechanism hierarchy
  • Methane-ethylene mixture
  • Spherical flames


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