Three-dimensional numerical simulations of cellular jet diffusion flames

C. E. Frouzakis, A. G. Tomboulides, P. Papas, P. F. Fischer, R. M. Rais, P. A. Monkewitz, K. Boulouchos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Recent experimental investigations have demonstrated that the appearance of particular cellular states in circular non-premixed jet flames significantly depends on a number of parameters, including the initial mixture strength, reactant Lewis numbers, and proximity to the extinction limit (Damköhler number). For CO2-diluted H2/O2 jet diffusion flames, these studies have shown that a variety of different cellular patterns or states can form. For given fuel and oxidizer compositions, several preferred states were found to co-exist, and the particular state realized was determined by the initial conditions. To elucidate the dynamics of cellular instabilities, circular non-premixed jet flames are modeled with a combination of three-dimensional numerical simulation and linear stability analysis (LSA). In both formulations, chemistry is described by a single-step, finite-rate reaction, and different reactant Lewis numbers and molecular weights are specified. The three-dimensional numerical simulations show that different cellular flames can be obtained close to extinction and that different states co-exist for the same parameter values. Similar to the experiments, the behavior of the cell structures is sensitive to (numerical) noise. During the transient blow-off process, the flame undergoes transitions to structures with different number of cells, while the flame edge close to the nozzle oscillates in the streamwise direction. For conditions similar to the experiments discussed, the LSA results reveal various cellular instabilities, typically with azimuthal wavenumber m = 1-6. Consistent with previous theoretical work, the propensity for the cellular instabilities is shown to increase with decreasing reactant Lewis number and Damköhler number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event30th International Symposium on Combustion - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2004Jul 30 2004


  • Cellular flame
  • Diffusion flame instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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