Combustion and Flame, Vol.212, 403-414, 2020
Effects of non-thermal plasma on the lean blowout limits and CO/NOx emissions in swirl-stabilized turbulent lean-premixed flames of methane/air
This study investigates experimentally the effects of non-thermal plasma (NTP) induced by a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor on the characteristics of swirl-stabilized turbulent lean-premixed methane/air flames in a laboratory scale combustor by systematically varying the applied AC voltage, VAC, and frequency, f(AC). Especially, it is elucidated how the NTP influences the lean blowout (LBO) limits and the characteristics of CO/NOx), emissions depending on flame configuration. Without applying the NTP as the mixture equivalence ratio, phi, decreases from the stoichiometry to an LBO limit, the flame configuration changes from an M-flame (Regime I) to a conical flame (Regime II) and to a columnar flame (Regime III) for the whole range of the mixture nozzle exit velocity, U-0, (4-10 m/s). With the NTP, however, it exhibits only Regimes I and II at relatively-low U(0)range (4-6 m/s), while all three regimes at relatively-high U-0 range (7-10 m/s). For both velocity ranges, the LBO limits are significantly extended by the NTP enhancing the flame stability. Under the relatively-low U-0 range, streamers induced by the DBD reactor play a critical role in stabilizing the flames such that the degree of extension of the LBO limit depends linearly on V-AC and f(AC). Under the relatively-high U-0 range, however, ozone generated by the DBD reactor in Regime III is found to be a major reason in extending the LBO limit, which is substantiated by another flame regime diagram with ozone addition only, and hence, the extension of LBO limit minimally depends on f(AC). Simultaneously, the NTP considerably reduces CO emission, while slightly increases NOx emission near the LBO limits due to the enhanced combustion by ozone. (C) 2019 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.