Modeling subfilter soot-turbulence interactions in Large Eddy Simulation: An a priori study

Lukas Berger, Achim Wick, Antonio Attili, Michael E. Mueller, Heinz Pitsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A new LES model for subfilter soot-turbulence interactions is developed based on an a priori analysis using large-scale DNS data of temporally evolving non premixed n-heptane jet flames at a jet Reynolds number of 15,000. In this work, soot formation is modeled in LES by solving explicit transport equations for soot moments, and the unclosed filtered soot moment source terms are closed by a presumed PDF approach. Due to the strong intermittency of soot fields, a previous modeling approach assumes the presumed PDF to be bimodal accounting for sooting and non-sooting subfilter regions but neglects any sub-structure of the soot distribution. In this work, the modeling framework is improved by a new presumed PDF model that explicitly accounts for the sub-structure of the sooting mode, which is modeled by a log-normal distribution. The previous and new models are assessed by means of their prediction of the filtered source terms and the filtered intermittency, and the log-normal distribution is found to significantly reduce modeling errors, in particular, for the coagulation source term. Introducing a log-normal distribution for the PDF of the sooting mode involves a large amount of additional model parameters, such as the width of the distribution and correlation coefficients among different soot moments, so model assumptions to reduce the number of model parameters are discussed by means of the DNS data. The conclusions are found to be robust with respect to a variation in the global Damköhler number in the DNS datasets. The final model formulation only requires solving two additional transport equations in LES compared to previous models, while significantly improved model predictions are obtained for the coagulation source term which is import for predicting the number of soot particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2783-2790
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • LES
  • Presumed PDF
  • Soot
  • Soot-turbulence interactions
  • Subfilter modeling


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