Microwave-plasma-coupled re-ignition of methane-and-oxygen mixture under auto-ignition temperature

Xing Rao, Stephen Hammack, Campbell Carter, Timothy Grotjohn, Jes Asmussen, Tonghun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The re-ignition phenomenon is observed when fuel/oxidizer is re-introduced into an atmospheric-pressure plasma discharge generated by cutting off the gas flow in a re-entrant microwave-plasma applicator system used for plasma-assisted ignition and combustion research works. Results indicate that, for re-ignition to occur, the electric field must be strong enough to fully establish a weakly ionized and self-sustained plasma discharge, and with elevated radical concentrations. The re-ignition was possible at gas flow speeds higher than typical flame propagation rates, and temperature measurements (thermocouple and N 2 emission) reveal that re-ignition occurs under auto-ignition temperatures. The high-speed imaging of the flame propagation shows that it is a two step process of initiating a fast pyrolysis flame, which, in turn, stabilizes and starts the direct coupling process of the plasma energy into the flame for full re-ignition to occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5971799
Pages (from-to)3307-3313
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number12 PART 1
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Auto-ignition temperature
  • laser induced fluorescence
  • plasma assisted combustion
  • re-ignition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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