On micro-buoyancy spherical diffusion flames and a double luminous zone structure of the hydrogen/methane flame

C. J. Sung, D. L. Zhu, C. K. Law

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12 Scopus citations


Almost spherically symmetry diffusion flames of substantial dimension (diameter ∼ several centimeters) were established in earth gravity by ejecting an O2/N2 mixture from a porous sphere into a subatmospheric pressure environment consisting of low-molecular-weight fuels such as methane and hydrogen. In the present investigation, a double-luminous zone structure, consisting of a green luminous zone near the fuel side, a blue or violet luminous zone near the oxidizer side, and a dark space between the two luminous zones, was observed for subatmospheric diffusion flames of either air or an O2/N2 mixture against a mixture of hydrogen with a small quantity of methane. The two luminous zones eventually merge with increasing methane addition, characterized by the green luminous zone shifting toward the blue luminous zone. Computational simulation using the experimental boundary conditions shows that the blue and green luminous zones respectively correspond to the main consumption layers of H2-O2 and CH4; that the breakdown of CH4 is primarily due to its attack by H, leading to the formation of CO, additional H2, and eventually H2O and CO2; and that the electronically excited CO2 and C2 are respectively responsible for the blue and green luminescence. This double-luminous zone structure also exhibits a secondary peak in the heat release rate profile; important reactions accounting for the two heat release peaks were identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2559-2566
Number of pages8
JournalSymposium (International) on Combustion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
Event27th International Symposium on Combustion - Boulder, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 2 1998Aug 7 1998

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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