An experimental and kinetic modeling study of n-octane and 2-methylheptane in an opposed-flow diffusion flame

S. M. Sarathy*, C. Yeung, Charles Westbrook, W. J. Pitz, M. Mehl, M. J. Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Fischer-Tropsch (FT) fuels derived from biomass syngas are renewable fuels that can replace conventional petroleum fuels in jet engine and diesel engine applications. FT fuels typically contain a high concentration of lightly methylated iso-alkanes, whereas petroleum derived jet and diesel fuels contain large fractions of n-alkanes, cycloalkanes, and aromatics plus some lightly methylated iso-alkanes. In order to better understand the combustion characteristics of FT and petroleum fuels, this study presents new experimental data for 2-methylheptane and n-octane in an opposed-flow diffusion flame. The high temperature oxidation of 2. -methylheptane and n-octane has been modeled using an extended transport database and a reaction mechanism consisting of 3401 reactions involving 714 species. The proposed model shows good qualitative and quantitative agreement with the experimental data. The measured and predicted concentrations of 1-alkenes and ethylene are higher in the n-octane flame, while the concentrations of iso-alkenes (especially iso-butene) and propene are higher in the 2-methylheptane flame. The proposed chemical kinetic model is used to delineate the reactions pathways leading to these observed differences in product species concentrations. An uncertainty analysis was conducted to assess experimental and modeling uncertainties. The results indicate that the simulations are sensitive to the transport parameters used to calculate fuel diffusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1277-1287
Number of pages11
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkane combustion
  • Chemical kinetic modeling
  • Diesel fuel surrogate
  • Iso-alkane combustion
  • Opposed-flow diffusion flame
  • Reaction mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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