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Numerical Study of the Inhibition of Premixed and Diffusion Flames by Iron Pentacarbonyl



M D. Rumminger, D Reinelt, Valeri I. Babushok, Gregory T. Linteris


Iron pentacarbonyl (Fe(CO)5) is an extremely efficient flame inhibitor, yet its inhibition mechanism has not been described. The flame-inhibition mechanism of Fe(CO)5 in premixed and counterflow diffusion flames of methane, oxygen, and nitrogen is investigated. A gas-phase inhibition mechanism involving catalytic removal of H atoms by iron-containing species is presented. For premixed flames, numerical predictions of burning velocity are comapred with experimental measurements at three equivalence ratios (0.0, 1.0, and 1.1) and three oxidizer compositions (0.20, 0.21, and 0.24 oxygen mole fraction in nitrogen). For counterflow diffusion flames, numerical predictions of extinction strain rate are compared with experimental results for addition of inhibitor to the air and fuel stream. The numerical predictions agree reasonable well with experimental measurements at low inhibitor mole fraction, but at higher Fe(CO)5 mole fractions the simulations overpredict inhibition. The overprediction is suggested to be due to condensation of iron-containing compounds since calculated supersaturation ratios for Fe and FeO are significantly higher than unity in some regions of the flames. The results lead to the conclusion that inhibition occurs primarily by homogeneous gas-phase chemistry.
Combustion and Flame


chemical inhibition, flame chemistry


Rumminger, M. , Reinelt, D. , Babushok, V. and Linteris, G. (1999), Numerical Study of the Inhibition of Premixed and Diffusion Flames by Iron Pentacarbonyl, Combustion and Flame, [online], (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created December 31, 1998, Updated October 12, 2021