Flammability Limits: A Comprehensive Review of Theory, Experiments, and Estimation Methods

Andrés Z. Mendiburu, João A. Carvalho, Yiguang Ju

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Flammability limits play an important role in combustion research, industrial applications, and fire safety. This article provides a comprehensive review of recent developments in the fundamental understanding of flammability limits and their experimental determination as well as estimation methods for pure fuels and fuel mixtures. The article begins with a discussion of the importance and challenges of determining flammability limits. It then presents the theoretical, computational, and experimental methods available to understand the mechanism of flammability limits and to quantify them. The experimental setups using cylindrical and spherical vessels to determine the flammability limits are discussed. The effects of buoyancy, thermal radiation, and flame stretch are examined. The relationship between the fundamental flammability limits and the extinction limits of stretched flames via strain and radiation is presented. The effects of initial temperature, pressure, mixtures of different fuels, and diluents are examined, and available estimation methods are presented. Finally, the flammability limits of renewable and alternative fuels are addressed and strategies for estimating the flammability limits of these fuels are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4151-4197
Number of pages47
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 16 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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