Ignition of hydrogen and oxygen in counterflow at high pressures

B. T. Helenbrook, C. K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ignition of hydrogen and oxygen in the "third limit" was studied in counterflow for both premixed and nonpremixed systems with activation energy asymptotics. The results of the analysis were then compared to numerical calculations for further verification of the findings. In the analysis, simplifications to the chemical mechanism were formally derived, and criteria determining the accuracy of these simplifications were identified. It was demonstrated that the chemical steady-state approximations of O and OH are accurate for a wide range of conditions, while the steady-state approximations of H and HO2 were both found to be inaccurate in certain regimes. Using these approximations, a reduced mechanism was derived and used to explain the ignition behavior of H2 and O2. It is shown that, for both the preximed and nonpremixed configurations, ignition occurs through the effect of heat release on the Arrhenius term of reaction 15, H2O2+M→2OH+M, and expressions were derived that are able to qualitatively predict the relationship between the pressure, temperature, and strain rate at ignition. The difference in ignition temperature between the premixed and nonpremixed configurations is associated with the effect of reactions between H and HO2. For the premixed case, the rate of destruction of H through H+O2+M→HO2+M is much slower due to the lower concentration of O2 in the reaction zone, thus reactions between H and HO2 play a greater role in the ignition process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalSymposium (International) on Combustion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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