Spontaneous initiation and development of hydrogen-oxygen detonation with ozone sensitization

Wenhu Han, Wenkai Liang, Cheng Wang, Jennifer Wen, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work studies numerically the spontaneous initiation and sustenance of a detonation wave from a hot spot with a nonuniform initial temperature embedded within an H2O2 mixture with and without O3 addition. For the case with either no or just a small amount of O3 addition, a weak reaction wave is auto-ignited at the hot spot, accelerates and then transitions to a pulsating detonation, which propagates along the temperature gradient and quenches as it runs into the cold fresh mixture. However, with increasing O3 addition, the possibility of sustenance of a developing detonation within the gradient is significantly enhanced as it enters the cold mixture. Furthermore, the reduced induction time by O3 addition leads to earlier appearance of the spontaneous reaction wave and detonation formation in the cold mixture, demonstrating that quenching of the detonation is largely related to the instability property of the mixture because the shortened induction time reduces substantially the instability. It is also noted that, for 5%O3 addition, a low-temperature flame produced by the O3 reactions is present in front of the spontaneous reaction wave, inducing a local pressure wave, which facilitates spontaneous initiation and sustains the detonation entering the cold mixture. Moreover, O3 addition renders the critical temperature to induce the minimum spontaneous wave speed higher than the crossover temperature, while they are very close for the case without O3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


  • Detonation
  • Spontaneous initiation
  • Spontaneous reaction wave
  • Temperature gradient

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