Nitric oxide formation in a premixed flame with high-level plasma energy coupling

Xing Rao, Igor B. Matveev, Tonghun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents quantitative planar laser- induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging of nitric oxide (NO) in a transient-arc direct-current plasmatron igniter using premixed air/fuel mixtures. Quantitative measurements of NO are reported as a function of gas flow rate (20-50 standard cubic feet per hour), plasma power (100-900 mA, 150-750 W), and equivalence ratio (0.7-1.3). Images were corrected for temperature effects by using 2-D temperature field measurements obtained with infrared thermometry and calibrated by a more accurate multiline fitting technique. The signals were then quantified using an NO addition method and spectroscopic laser-induced fluorescence modeling of NO. NO PLIF images and single-point NO concentrations are presented for both plasma-discharge-only and methane/air plasma-enhanced combustion cases. NO formation occurs predominantly through N2(v>) + O → NO + N for the plasma- discharge-only case without combustion. The NO concentration for the plasma-enhanced combustion case (500-3500 ppm) was an order of magnitude less than the plasma-discharge-only case (8000-15 000 ppm) due to the reduction of plasma reactions by the methane. Experiments show the linear decay of NO from equivalence ratio 0.8-1.2 under the same flow condition and discharge current.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5318253
Pages (from-to)2303-2313
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Nitric oxide (NO)
  • Plasma torch
  • Plasma-assisted combustion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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