Transported PDF simulation of turbulent CH 4 /H 2 flames under MILD conditions with particle-level sensitivity analysis

Hu Wang, Hua Zhou, Zhuyin Ren, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Transported probability density function (TPDF) simulation with sensitivity analysis has been conducted for turbulent non-premixed CH 4 /H 2 flames of the jet-into-hot-coflow (JHC) burner, which is a typical model to emulate moderate or intense low oxygen dilution combustion (MILD). Specifically, two cases with different levels of oxygen in the coflow stream, namely HM1 and HM3, are simulated to reveal the differences between MILD and hot-temperature combustion. The TPDF simulation well predicts the temperature and species distributions including those of OH, CO and NO for both cases with a 25-species mechanism. The reduced reaction activity in HM1 as reflected in the peak OH concentration is well correlated to the reduced oxygen in the coflow stream. The particle-level local sensitivities with respect to mixing and chemical reaction further show dramatic differences in the flame characteristics. HM1 is less sensitive to mixing and reaction parameters than HM3 due to the suppressed combustion process. Specifically, for HM1 the sensitivities to mixing and chemical reactions have comparable magnitude, indicating that the combustion progress is controlled by both mixing and reaction in MILD combustion. For HM3, there is however a change in the combustion mode: during the flame initialization, the combustion progress is more sensitive to chemical reactions, indicating that finite-rate chemistry is the controlling process during the autoignition process for flame stabilization; at further downstream where the flame has established, the combustion progress is controlled by mixing, which is characteristic of nonpremixed flames. An examination of the particles with the largest sensitivities reveals the difference in the controlling mixtures for flame stabilization, namely, the stoichiometric mixtures are important for HM1, whereas, fuel-lean mixtures are controlling for HM3. The study demonstrates the potential of TPDF simulations with sensitivity analysis to investigate the effects of finite-rate chemistry on the flame characteristics and emissions, and reveal the controlling physio-chemical processes in MILD combustion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4487-4495
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Low-emission combustion
  • MILD combustion
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Transported PDF simulation


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