Effect of CO2 diluent on fuel versus oxidizer side of spherical diffusion flames in microgravity

M. K. Chernovsky*, A. Atreya, H. G. Im

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The present study experimentally investigates fundamental characteristics of diffusion flames and the importance of gas radiation. In particular, transient measurements of flame growth, temperature, and radiation intensity of an expanding spherical diffusion flame in microgravity are used to investigate the effects of various diluents (N2, CO2) with different radiative properties. Two systems were studied: diluents on the oxidizer side of the reaction zone and diluents on the fuel side. Experiments were conducted at atmospheric pressure using a porous spherical burner aerodynamically supporting an ethylene diffusion flame in an oxidizing atmosphere. A color CCD camera was used to obtain the flame growth rate. Temperature field was measured by an array of thermocouples that were corrected for radiation, conduction through the leads and the time constant of the bead. Radiation intensity was measured by an array of photodetectors sensitive to selected spectral regions. Experimental results show that Lewis number of the oxidizer (Leo) does not have a dominant effect on the flame growth and the effect of the Lewis number of the fuel (LeF) on the flame growth is unclear from the experimental results. Despite controlling ρCP, the energy storage component of the reactant mixtures, influence of CO2 in the flame region reduced the flame temperature and the soot formation due to increased energy transfer. CO2 present in the oxidizer increased the volume-averaged temperature and lowered the flame radiative emission indicating both an increase in radiation heat transfer and radiation reabsorption. The presence of CO 2 in the fuel decreased the volume-averaged temperature significantly. Overall, CO2 diluent affected the two systems by different mechanisms. On the oxidizer side, radiation reabsorption played a role in strengthening the flame, while on the fuel side, enhanced CO2 increased radiative heat losses without exhibition of radiation reabsorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1013
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume31 I
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event31st International Symposium on Combustion - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: Aug 5 2006Aug 11 2006


  • Flame radiation
  • Microgravity
  • Spherical diffusion flames

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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