Theoretical analysis of the evolution from ignition kernel to flame ball and planar flame

Z. Chen, Yiguang Ju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Dynamics of flame kernel evolution with and without external energy addition has been investigated analytically and numerically. Emphasis is placed on the effects of radiation heat loss, ignition power and Lewis number on the correlation and transition between the initial flame kernel, the self-extinguishing flame, the flame ball, the outwardly propagating spherical flame and the propagating planar flame. The present study extends previous results by bridging the theories of the non-adiabatic stationary flame balls and travelling flames and allowing rigorous consideration of radiation heat losses. The results show that the effects of radiation heat loss play an important role in flame regimes and flame transition and result in a new isolated self-extinguishing flame. Furthermore, it is found that radiation heat losses significantly increase the critical ignition radius and result in three different dependences of the minimum ignition power on the Lewis number. Comparisons between the results from the transient numerical simulation and those from the quasi-steady state analysis show a good agreement. The results suggest that prediction of flame initiation without appropriate consideration of radiation is not acceptable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-453
Number of pages27
JournalCombustion Theory and Modelling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Flame extinction
  • Flame initiation
  • Minimum ignition energy
  • Radiation heat loss


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