Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Hydrocarbon Binary Diffusion Coefficient Measurements for Use in Combustion Modeling



William S. McGivern, Jeffrey A. Manion


Recent studies have identified uncertainties in fuel diffusion coefficients as a source of significant uncertainty in combustion modeling. This paper presents accurate binary diffusion coefficients of linear hydrocarbons in helium and nitrogen at temperatures from (300–723) K. Diffusion coefficients are deter- mined using a reversed-flow gas chromatography (RF-GC) system. Earlier work in our laboratory has established the validity of this methodology for noble gases and methane under these elevated-temperature conditions, and we utilize the methodology to longer chain systems of interest in combustion modeling: ethane, propane, and n-butane. For propane and n-butane in nitrogen, the present results show dramatically different (up to 16.9 % deviation at the highest common temperature) diffusion coefficients than previous work in addition to extending the available temperature range. The effects of decomposition of the analyte at higher temperatures and adhesion of the analyte on the diffusion column at lower temperatures during the measurements are briefly considered but have only a small impact on the present systems.
Combustion and Flame


diffusion coefficients, alkanes, high temperature


McGivern, W. and Manion, J. (2012), Hydrocarbon Binary Diffusion Coefficient Measurements for Use in Combustion Modeling, Combustion and Flame, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 18, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017