Multiple criticality and staged ignition of methane in the counterflow

Wei Liu, Chung K. Law, Tianfeng Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The counterflow ignition of methane was investigated, with particular interest in the role of radical versus thermal runaway. Simulation with different kinetic mechanisms showed that the ignition response is qualitatively sensitive to the kinetic mechanism adopted, either exhibiting or not exhibiting two ignition turning points in the S-curve response. For the former situation, ignition could take place in a staged manner with either increasing temperature or decreasing strain rate of the counterflow, characterized by the first ignition event being radical induced with negligible thermal effect and the second ignition event requiring thermal feedback. Sensitivity analysis and a recently developed chemical explosive mode analysis were performed to identify the dominant reactions in the radical runaway stage, revealing the importance of branching pathways involving the HO2 radical. Counterflow experiments were also conducted, yielding useful information on the ignition response. The study identifies items of further research to sharpen the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the methane oxidation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-776
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Kinetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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