Assessing PAHs-based soot inception models in various laminar non-premixed flame configurations

Junjun Guo*, Peng Liu, Erica Quadarella, William L. Roberts, Hong G. Im

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate soot modeling is challenging due to the complex underlying physical and chemical processes. To improve the fidelity of the soot prediction in inverse coflow flame configurations, an empirical reactive soot inception model with radical involvement was developed in our previous work [Guo et al. Combust Flame 254 (2023) 112,853]. In this study, the model is further assessed by comparing the predictions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and soot parameters, including volume fraction, number density, and particle size, with measurements in various laminar diffusion flame configurations. These configurations encompass counterflow diffusion flames (CDF), normal coflow diffusion flames (NDF), and inverse coflow diffusion flames (IDF). The empirical reactive inception model is also compared to the reported irreversible and reversible inception models. The results show that the empirical reactive inception model with radical involvement most accurately capture axial soot behavior in IDF configuration, while irreversible and reversible models predict a sustained increase in soot mass, inconsistent with measurements. In CDF configurations, the empirical reactive model and the reported reversible model have better performance than the irreversible inception model, regarding the predictions of spatial distributions of soot and PAHs. Moreover, in NDF configuration, the soot peaks predicted by the reactive and reversible models are in reasonable agreement with measurements within a factor of 2–3. For the soot spatial distribution in NDF, the difference in the predictions is mainly reflected in the flame wings, which is caused by the temperature dependences of the inception rate provided by the different models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113254
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Diffusion flame
  • Inception model
  • Laminar flame
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
  • Soot modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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