On burner-stabilized cylindrical premixed flames in microgravity

J. A. Eng, Chung King Law, D. L. Zhu

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18 Scopus citations


The structure and response of the curved but unstretched cylindrically symmetric one-dimensional premixed flame generated by a cylindrical porous burner has been studied using (1) activation energy asymptotics with one-step reaction and constant properties, (2) numerical computation with detailed chemistry and transport, and (3) drop-tower microgravity experimentation. The study emphasizes the relative importance of heat loss (to the burner surface) vs flow divergence as the dominant mechanism for flame stabilization, the possibility of establishing a one-dimensional, adiabatic, unstretched, premixed flame in microgravity, the influence of curvature on the upstream and downstream burning rates of the flame, and the relation of these burning rates to those of the inherently nonadiabatic flat-burner flame as well as the freely propagating adiabatic planar flame. Results show that, with increasing flow discharge rate, the dominant flame stabilization mechanism changes from heat loss to flow divergence, hence demonstrating the feasibility of establishing a freely standing, adiabatic, one-dimensional, unstretched flame. It is further shown that, in this adiabatic, divergence-stabilized regime in which the burner discharge flux exceeds that of the adiabatic planar flame, the downstream burning flux is equal to the (constant) burning flux of the adiabatic planar flame while the upstream burning flux exceeds it, and the upstream burning velocity exhibits a maximum with increasing discharge rate. Based on the property of the downstream burning flux, it is also proposed that the laminar burning velocity of a combustible can be readily determined from the experimental values of the burner discharge rate and flame radius. Microgravity results on the flame radius compare favorably with the computed values, while the corresponding laminar burning velocity also agrees well with that obtained from independent numerical computation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1711-1718
Number of pages8
JournalSymposium (International) on Combustion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

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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