Pressure effects on reactivity and extinction of n-dodecane diffusion cool flame

Ziyu Wang, Andy Thawko, Bowen Mei, Wenbin Xu, Chung K. Law, Yiguang Ju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Low-temperature combustion at high pressure has gained increasing interest owing to the growing demand for clean and efficient propulsion and energy systems. In particular, cool flame structure, extinction limits, and fuel reactivities at high pressure are critical in affecting the engine performance at near-limit conditions. This paper investigates the effects of pressure on the cool flame extinction limit, structure, radical index, reactivity, and oxygen concentration dependence by experiments, analysis, and modeling. A large n-alkane, namely n-dodecane (n-C12H26), is selected to study its diffusion cool flame dynamics and reactivity in a high-pressure counterflow burner up to 10 atm. The experimental results show that higher pressure increases the cool flame extinction strain rates, and that the pressure-weighted extinction strain rate (aP) is proportional to the square of pressure, P2. A scaling analysis explains the relationship between the dependence of flame structure, heat release rate, and pressure-weighted cool flame strain rate on pressure. Furthermore, radical indexes at different pressures are measured by isolating the thermal and transport effects from the chemical contribution to diffusion cool flame extinction. The radical index clearly shows that the low-temperature reactivity increases with pressure. In addition, due to the critical role of multiple oxygen addition reactions in low-temperature chemistry, the relationship between the cool flame extinction limit and the oxygen concentration is explored. It is found that the cool flame extinction limits are proportional to the nth power of the oxygen concentration, [O2]n, and increasing pressure leads to stronger extinction limit dependence (larger n) on the oxygen concentration. The present experiment and detailed kinetic analysis show clearly that increasing pressure promotes the low-temperature chemistry including the oxygen addition reactions, while the scaling analysis explains well the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112829
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Cool flame
  • Counterflow
  • Extinction limit
  • Flame thickness
  • High pressure


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