Combustion and Flame, Vol.213, 14-25, 2020
Chemical effects of hydrogen addition on soot formation in counterflow diffusion flames: Dependence on fuel type and oxidizer composition
We experimentally studied and kinetically modeled the effects of hydrogen addition on soot formation in methane and ethylene counterflow diffusion flames (CDFs). To isolate the chemical effects of hydrogen in such flames, we also ran a set of experiments on flames of the same base fuels but with the addition of helium. Specifically, we measured the soot volume fractions of the flames using the planar laser-induced incandescence technique. We simulated detailed sooting structures by coupling the gas-phase chemistry with the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-based soot model, using a sectional method to resolve the soot particle dynamics. Our experimental and numerical results show that hydrogen chemically inhibits soot formation in ethylene CDFs. While in methane flames, it is interesting to observe that the difference in soot production between the hydrogen- and helium-doped cases became much smaller when the oxygen concentration in the oxidizer stream (X-O) was reduced. This suggests that for methane CDFs the chemical soot-inhibiting effects of hydrogen was highly dependent on oxidizer composition (i.e., X-O). Explanations are provided through detailed kinetic analysis concerning the effects of hydrogen addition on the growth of PAH, soot inception, and soot surface growth processes. Our results suggest that hydrogen's chemical role in soot formation not only depends on fuel type (ethylene or methane), it also may be sensitive to oxidizer composition. (C) 2019 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.