Uncertainties in interpretation of high pressure spherical flame propagation rates due to thermal radiation

Jeffrey Santner, Francis M. Haas, Yiguang Ju, Frederick L. Dryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


It has been suggested that radiation heat loss may be a large source of experimental uncertainty in flame speed measurements using the outwardly propagating spherical flame method. Thermal radiation is usually not considered in interpretation of these experiments, yet it may contribute significantly to uncertainty especially for model-constraining conditions at low flame temperature and high pressure. In the present work, a conservative analytical estimate of the effects of radiation heat loss is derived and validated against detailed numerical simulations. A solver with a graphical interface is provided in the Supplemental material to allow implementation of these analytical results. The analytical estimate considers the radiation induced burned gas motion as well as the decreasing flame temperature due to conduction to the radiating burned gas and radiation loss from the flame zone. The results show that previous measurements of hydrogen flame speeds at low flame temperature by Burke et al. (2010) [3] are minimally affected by radiation, but flames with low flame speeds can be strongly inhibited by radiative loss. Future laminar spherical flame measurements and interpretation of existing determinations with low adiabatic flame speeds must include consideration of radiation effects to avoid large uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Analytical solution
  • High pressure
  • Laminar premixed flame speed
  • Radiation heat loss
  • Spherically propagating flame
  • Uncertainty


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