On the Role of Chemical Kinetics Modeling in the LES of Premixed Bluff Body and Backward-Facing Step Combustors

Nadim W. Chakroun, Santosh J. Shanbhogue, Gaurav Kewlani, Soufien Taamallah, Dan Michaels, Ahmed Ghoniem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Recirculating flows in the wake of a bluff body, behind a sudden expansion or down-stream of a swirler, are pivotal for anchoring a flame and expanding the stability range. The size and structure of these recirculation zones and the accurate prediction of the length of these zones is a very important characteristic that computational simulations should have. Large eddy simulation (LES) techniques with an appropriate combustion model and reaction mechanism afford a balance between computational complexity and predictive accuracy. In this study, propane/air mixtures were simulated in a bluff-body stabilized combustor based on the Volvo test case and also in a backward-facing step combustor. The main goal is to investigate the role of the chemical mechanism and the accuracy of estimating the extinction strain rate on the prediction of important ow features such as recirculation zones. Two 2-step mechanisms were employed, one which gave reasonable extinction strain rates and another modi ed 2-step mechanism where it grossly over-predicted the values. This modified mechanism under-predicted recirculation zone lengths compared to the original mechanism and had worse agreement with experiments in both geometries. While the recirculation zone lengths predicted by both reduced mechanisms in the step combustor scale linearly with the extinction strain rate, the scaling curves do not match experimental results as none of the simpli ed mechanisms produce extinction strain rates that are consistent with those predicted by the comprehensive mechanisms. We conclude that it is very important that a chemical mechanism is able to correctly predict extinction strain rates if it is to be used in CFD simulations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
ISBN (Print)9781624104473
StatePublished - Jan 5 2017
Externally publishedYes


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