On explosion-limit regime diagram of H2 and C1 to C3 alkanes with unified pivot state

Jie Liu, Ruiguang Yu, Wenkai Liang, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We present a comprehensive computational simulation and theoretical analysis of the pressure-vs-temperature explosion limits of oxygen with hydrogen (H2), methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6) or propane (C3H8), as well as the binary fuels of H2–CH4, H2–C2H6 and H2–C3H8. Results show that the C1–C3 explosion limit curves all confluence around a single, pivot, state corresponding to the upper turning point of the hydrogen explosion limit Z-curve. Furthermore, while hydrogen has the widest range of explosion temperature for pressures below the pivot state as compared to those of the alkanes, the response is reversed for pressures above the pivot state. Studies on the kinetic effects of hydrogen in the binary fuels show the dominance of the alkanes in that progressively larger amount of hydrogen addition is needed, from methane to propane, in order to impart the hydrogen explosion characteristics to the binary fuels. The reaction mechanisms responsible for the observed behavior are identified through sensitivity and reaction pathway analyses. A comprehensive explosion regime diagram of the observed behavior is proposed for H2 and C1 to C3 alkanes in an extensive pressure-temperature range. Practical implications of the understanding gained herein are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112705
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - May 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Ethane
  • Explosion limits
  • Hydrogen
  • Methane
  • Propane


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