Ignition in the supersonic hydrogen/air mixing layer with reduced reaction mechanisms

H. G. Im, B. T. Helenbrook, S. R. Lee, C. K. Law

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20 Scopus citations


Asymptotic analysis of ignition within the supersonic hydrogen/air mixing layer is performed using reduced mechanisms. Two distinct reduced mechanisms for the high-temperature and the low-temperature regimes are used depending on the characteristic temperature of the reaction zone relative to the crossover temperature at which the reaction rates of the H + O2 branching and termination steps are equal. Each regime further requires two distinct analyses for the hot-stream and the viscous-heating cases, depending on the relative dominance of external and internal ignition energy sources. These four cases are analysed separately, and it is shown that the present analysis successfully describes the ignition process by exhibiting turning point or thermal runaway behaviour in the low-temperature regime, and radical branching followed by thermal runaway in the high-temperature regime. Results for the predicted ignition distances are then mapped out over the entire range of the parameters, showing consistent behaviour with the previous one-step model analysis. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that ignition in the low-temperature regime is controlled by a larger activation energy process, so that the ignition distance is more sensitive to its characteristic temperature than that in the high-temperature regime. The ignition distance is also found to vary non-monotonically with the system pressure in the manner of the well-known hydrogen/oxygen explosion limits, thereby further substantiating the importance of chemical chain mechanisms in this class of chemically reacting boundary layer flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-296
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Sep 10 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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