Preprint has been published in a journal as an article
DOI of the published article
Preprint / Version 1

Effect of radiation losses on very lean methane/air flames propagating upward in a vertical tube


  • Victor Muntean Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid
  • Francisco Higuera



Lean methane/air flames, Flammability limit, Flammability tube, Radiation losses


The stationary upward propagation of a very lean methane/air flame in a long vertical tube open at the bottom and closed at the top is simulated numerically using a single overall chemical reaction to model combustion and assuming an optically thin gas and a transparent or non-reflecting tube wall to approx-imately account for radiation losses from CO2 and H2O. Buoyancy plays a dominant role in the propaga-tion of these flames and causes a large region of low velocity of the burnt gas relative to the flame to appear below the flame front when the equivalence ratio is decreased. The size of this region scales with the radius of the tube, and its presence enhances the effect of radiation losses, which would be otherwise negligible for a standard flammability tube, given the small concentration of radiating species. Heat con-duction is found to be important in the low velocity region and to lead to a conduction flux from the flame to the burnt gas that causes extinction at the flame tip for a value of the equivalence ratio near the flam-mability limit experimentally measured in the standard tube. The effect of radiation losses decreases with the radius of the tube. Numerical results and order-ofmagnitude estimates show that, in the absence of radiation, a very lean flame front fails to propagate only after recirculation of the burnt gas extends to its reaction region and drastically changes its structure. This condition is not realized for the standard flammability tube, but it seems to account for the flammability limit measured in a tube of about half the radius of the standard tube.


Download data is not yet available.