Electric field effects in the presence of chemi-ionization on droplet burning

Advitya Patyal, Dimitrios Kyritsis, Moshe Matalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of an externally applied electric field on the burning characteristics of a spherically symmetric fuel drop, including the flame structure, flame standoff distance, mass burning rate and flame extinction characteristics of the diffusion flame are studied. A reduced three-step chemical kinetic mechanism that reflects the chemi-ionization process for general hydrocarbon fuels has been proposed to capture the production and destruction of ions inside the flame zone. Due to the imposed symmetry, the effect of the ionic wind is simply to modify the pressure field. Our study thus focuses exclusively on the effects of Ohmic heating and kinetic effects on the burning process. Two distinguished limits of weak and strong field are identified, highlighting the relative strength of the internal charge barrier compared to the externally applied field. For both limits, significantly different charged species distributions are observed. An increase in the mass burning rate is noticed with increasing the strength of the electric field in both limits, with a small change in flame temperature. Increasing external voltages pushes the flame away from the droplet and causes a strengthening of the flame with a reduction in the extinction Damkhöler number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-110
Number of pages12
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Chemi-ionization
  • Diffusion flame
  • Droplet combustion
  • Electric field
  • Ionic wind
  • Ohmic heating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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