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Greatly Enhanced Soot Scattering in Flickering CH4/Air Diffusion Flames



K C. Smyth, J E. Harrington, Erik L. Johnsson, William M. Pitts


Planar images of laser-induced fluorescence from OH radicals and elastic scattering from soot particles are presented in time-varying laminar CH4/air diffusion flames burning in a co-flowing, axisymmetric configuration at atmospheric pressure. Acoustic forcing is used to phase lock the periodic flame flicker to the pulsed laser system operating at 10.13 Hz. For conditions where the tip of the flame is clipped, the intensity of the light scattered by the soot particles increases dramatically (by more than a factor of 7 for the maximum signals at a point) compared to a steady-state, laminar flame with the same mean fuel flow velocity. Comparison of the scattering signals integrated along the flame radius is carried out in the steady-state and time-varying flames as a function of height above the burner. Time-varying flames exhibit a larger range of combustion conditions than observed in corresponding steady-state flames, including different residence times, temperature histories, local stoichiometries, and strain and scalar dissipation rates. Thus, their investigation promises to yield new insights into a wide variety of chemistry-flowfield interactions which are prominent in turbulent combustion.
Combustion and Flame


diffusion flames, soot, laminar flames, radicals, scalar dissipation, flame flicker


Smyth, K. , Harrington, J. , Johnsson, E. and Pitts, W. (1993), Greatly Enhanced Soot Scattering in Flickering CH4/Air Diffusion Flames, Combustion and Flame, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created December 31, 1992, Updated October 12, 2021