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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The spontaneous initiation and sustenance of a detonation wave from a hot spot with a nonuniform initial temperature embedded within an H2–O2 mixture with and without O3 addition were numerically investigated. For the case with either no or just a small amount of O3 addition, a weak reaction wave was auto-ignited at the hot spot, accelerated, and then transitioned to a pulsating detonation, which propagated along the temperature gradient and quenched as it runs into the cold fresh mixture. However, with increasing O3 addition, the possibility of sustenance of a developing detonation within the gradient was greatly enhanced as it enters the cold mixture. The reduced induction time by O2 addition led to earlier appearance of the spontaneous reaction wave and detonation formation in the cold mixture, demonstrating that quenching of the detonation iss largely related to the instability property of the mixture due to the shortened induction time reduced significantly the instability. 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 facilitated spontaneous initiation and sustained the detonation entering the cold mixture. O2 addition rendered 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)
Pages (from-to)3575-3583
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event38th International Symposium on Combustion, 2021 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: Jan 24 2021Jan 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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


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