On the chemical characteristics and dynamics of n-alkane low-temperature multistage diffusion flames

Omar R. Yehia, Christopher B. Reuter, Yiguang Ju

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18 Scopus citations


We demonstrate experimentally, perhaps for the first time, the existence of low-temperature multistage diffusion flames of n-alkanes. Multistage diffusion flames of n-heptane, n-decane, and n-dodecane are established in an atmospheric counterflow burner. Planar laser-induced fluorescence, chemiluminescence, and thermometry are used to probe the structures of such flames. In the first flame zone, the majority of the fuel is partially oxidized via low-temperature peroxy chemistry. In the second flame zone, the intermediate species produced are further oxidized via intermediate-temperature chemistry. The two stages of the flame are coupled such that significant fuel and oxidizer leakage occur, respectively, from the first and second reaction zones. The fuel is then further consumed, in the second stage, after the radical pool is replenished by the oxidation of the intermediates. The structure of the n-alkane multistage flame is found to be consistent with that previously observed for acyclic ethers. Owing to the different classes of temperature-dependent chemistries dominating the first and second stages, the reaction zone structure of multistage diffusion flames is dramatically influenced by the reactant concentrations and flame temperatures. The first stage is relatively favored at lower temperatures whereas the second stage is favored at elevated temperatures. Moreover, near extinction where the flame temperature is low, the multistage flame dynamics are controlled by the first oxidation stage, governed by peroxy chemistry, whereas the second oxidation stage, governed by intermediate chemistry, is dominant near high-temperature ignition conditions. Finally, by doping the oxidizer with ozone, we demonstrate the role of ozone doping on the multistage flame structure and the existence of a separate low-temperature ozone-assisted burning mode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1724
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


  • Cool flame
  • Counterflow
  • Low-temperature chemistry
  • Multistage diffusion flame
  • Warm flame


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