Structure of a spatially developing turbulent lean methane-air Bunsen flame

Ramanan Sankaran, Evatt R. Hawkes, Jacqueline H. Chen, Tianfeng Lu, Chung King Law

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

367 Scopus citations


Direct numerical simulation of a three-dimensional spatially developing turbulent slot-burner Bunsen flame has been performed with a new reduced methane-air mechanism. The mechanism, derived from sequential application of directed relation graph theory, sensitivity analysis and computational singular perturbation over the GRI-1.2 detailed mechanism is non-stiff and tailored to the lean conditions of the DNS. The simulation is performed for three flow through times, long enough to achieve statistical stationarity. The turbulence parameters have been chosen such that the combustion occurs in the thin reaction zones regime of premixed combustion. The data is analyzed to study possible influences of turbulence on the structure of the preheat and reaction zones. The results show that the mean thickness of the turbulent flame, based on progress variable gradient, is greater than the corresponding laminar flame. The effects of flow straining and flame front curvature on the mean flame thickness are quantified through conditional means of the thickness and by examining the balance equation for the evolution of the flame thickness. Finally, conditional mean reaction rate of key species compared to the laminar reaction rate profiles show that there is no significant perturbation of the heat release layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1298
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume31 I
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007
Event31st International Symposium on Combustion - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: Aug 5 2006Aug 11 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • DNS
  • Flame structure
  • Premixed
  • Thin reaction zone
  • Turbulent combustion


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