A detailed three-dimensional computational model is developed to assess the potential of micron-scale field emission dielectric barrier discharge (FE-DBD) plasma actuators in non-premixed microburners with channel heights in the range of L z = 0.25-0.75 mm. Results for H2-O2 combustion with Reynolds number Re = 100 are studied for different configurations of plasma actuator arrays. Without plasma actuation, results agree with corresponding experiments, although in this case the burner typically suffers from incomplete combustion due to thermal quenching, radical quenching, and slow diffusive mixing. For the range of conditions simulated, plasma actuation increases combustion completeness from 25%-70% to 40%-80% by enhancing mixing, generating radicals, and Joule heating. Ionic wind resulting from the FE-DBD plasma disrupts the otherwise simple laminar flow in the burner, accelerating the growth of a mixing layer and enhancing heat transfer to channel walls. The larger, lower temperature flames reduce thermal gradients (and thereby thermal stresses) in the walls. Radical generation due to electron-impact dissociation extends the reaction zone in the diffusion flame and increases combustion completeness. In all cases, the additional heat release with plasma actuation (100-190 W) is significantly larger than the power needed to sustain the plasma (≲0.1 W), suggesting that plasma actuation may provide a significant advantage in energy generation using realistic portable micro-combustion devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045014
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Diffusion flame
  • Fe-dbd
  • Microcombutsion
  • Microplasma
  • Plasma coupled combustion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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