A numerical and experimental investigation of premixed methane-air flame transient response

Habib N. Najm*, Phillip H. Paul, Andrew McIlroy, Omar M. Knio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We report the results of a numerical and experimental investigation of the response of premixed methane-air flames to transient strain-rate disturbances induced by a two-dimensional counter-rotating vortex-pair. The numerical and experimental time histories of flow and flame evolution are matched over a 10 ms interaction time. Measurements and computations of CH and OH peak data evolution are reported and compared. Despite the matching of experimental operating conditions, the full resolution of flame length and time scales, and the use of a detailed C1C2 chemical mechanism and temperature-dependent transport properties, we find disagreements with experimental measurements of the transient response of both CH and OH. Besides quantitative disagreements in response time scales, the qualitative transient features of OH at rich conditions are not predicted in the computations. These disagreements suggest deficiencies in the chemical and/or transport models. On the other hand, evolution of computed and measured peak HCO mole fractions are in reasonable agreement, suggesting that certain components of flame chemistry may indeed be accurately predicted by the present model. We also report computed CH3O response, which exhibits a strong transient driven by changes to internal flame structure, namely temperature profile steepening, induced by the flow field. Steady state experimental PLIF CH3O data is reported and compared to numerical results, but experimental transient CH3O data is not available. In general, the present study highlights the importance of validation of chemical-transport models of flames in unsteady flow environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-892
Number of pages14
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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