Theory of first-stage ignition delay in hydrocarbon NTC chemistry

Wenkai Liang, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The first-stage ignition delay of n-heptane/air mixtures is computationally studied using detailed mechanism and theoretically studied using eigenvalue analysis of simplified systems. Results show that the delay has a turnover behavior as temperature increases, being dominated by the competition of low-temperature branching and termination channels as well as the competition of forward and reverse reaction channels. As temperature increases to the intermediate range, the termination and reverse pathways result in a minimum in the delay, the state of which is theoretically derived. Simple analytical solutions for the delay as well as the species evolutions are presented to identify the rate constants that control the first-stage ignition and quantify the influence of the mixture composition, initial temperature and system pressure. It is further demonstrated that the above results also hold for n-octane/air and iso-octane/air mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • First-stage ignition
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Ignition delay time
  • Low temperature chemistry


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