On explosion limits of H2/CO/O2 mixtures

Wenkai Liang, Jie Liu, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The pressure–temperature explosion limits of H2/CO/O2 mixtures were analyzed computationally and theoretically. It is shown that, with the addition of even a minute quantity of H2, the mixture explosion limits evolve from being monotonic to the non-monotonic Z-shaped response characteristic of H2/O2 mixtures. It is further shown that the explosion limit at various conditions can be reproduced well with a reduced mechanism of 12 elementary steps and 10 species. Eigenvalue analysis of this mechanism leads to an analytic solution for the explosion limits, yielding explicit expressions for the degenerate high- and low-pressure explosion peninsulas as well as the individual first, second and third limits. The separate and coupled roles of H2 and CO oxidation are identified, leading to enhanced insight of this foundational component in the mechanisms of hydrocarbon oxidation, as well as useful information in the utilization of syngas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Eigenvalue analysis
  • Explosion limits
  • Syngas


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