Counterflow flame extinction of ammonia and its blends with hydrogen and C1-C3 hydrocarbons

Adamu Alfazazi, Et-touhami Es-sebbar, Xiaoyuan Zhang, Bassam Dally, Marwan Abdullah, Mourad Younes, Mani Sarathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Ammonia as a fuel offers the potential to avoid carbon emissions, but its combustion is hindered by low reactivity. Here, the extinction limits of NH3 and NH3 plus reactivity enhancers were measured in the counterflow laminar non-premixed flames. A stable NH3-N2 flame was established with an oxygen-enriched oxidizer stream, and when the fuel was blended with CH4, C2H6, C3H8, and H2. For blended mixtures, results showed that CH4 has the least potential to enhance the stability of NH3 flames compared to the other additives. The extinction limits of C2H6 and C3H8 blended NH3 flames are nearly identical. At low percentage addition, H2-blended flames extinguish earlier than those blended with C1-C3 hydrocarbons, but this trend is reversed at higher H2 blends. Experimental conditions were simulated using Okafor et al. 2018 model and an extended Zhang et al 2021 model developed here. The models captured the measured trends, including the crossover between NH3-H2 and NH3-C2/C3 hydrocarbon fuels. Quantitatively, both models under-predicted the extinction limits of NH3-N2/enriched oxidizer flame. Better quantitative agreement is observed for the blended fuels using the model developed here. Discrepancies have been observed in the reported rates for reactions involving HNO (+OH, H), and if addressed, could improve models' capability in predicting extinction behavior in non-premixed flames. Numerical analyses were carried out to understand the kinetic coupling between NH3 and H2/C2-C3 in counter-flow flames. Extinction limits of NH3-C2-C3/H2 flames are shown to be affected by H abstraction and NH3 related chain termination reactions, heat producing reactions, and chain branching reactions. It has also been observed that at high blending ratios, C2H6/C3H8 addition in NH3 flames reduced the peak H and OH concentration via recombination and termination reactions, which compete with branching pathways. H2-blended flames are mostly influenced by reactions producing active radicals.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100099
JournalApplications in Energy and Combustion Science
StatePublished - Nov 19 2022


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