Iron combustion goes turbulent

First direct numerical simulation (DNS) of turbulent ignition and combustion of micrometer-sized iron particle suspensions

2024/02/03 by

I am very pleased that our first DNS paper on a turbulent iron flame has been accepted for publication in Flow, Turbulence and Combustion (Springer). This was a great collaboration of Technische Universität Darmstadt, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Universität Stuttgart, Universität Bayreuth and the Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation.

Carrier-phase DNS of ignition and combustion of iron particles in a turbulent mixing layer

DNS can provide unprecedented and fascinating insights into combustion processes. This is particularly true for iron combustion, where we are just beginning to understand the complex processes and special features. This is an important step to develop clean combustion systems with metal fuels as clean and zero-carbon carriers of renewable energy.

In this work, we studied the ignition of iron particle clouds in a temporal mixing layer. This is a relatively simple configuration that however retains many of the complex features of turbulent flames. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first DNS of a turbulent iron flame using detailed kinetics.

Some Highlights

  • strong impact of turbulent mixing on heating, ignition, and combustion
  • high reaction rates in regions where clusters of iron particles are formed. This is linked to Stokes number effects to be explored further
  • rate-liming processes vary over the course of combustion – analyzed by the local Damköhler number
  • substantial differences between these nonvolatile solid fuel and volatile solid fuel flames.

More details can be found here in the preprint.

The paper will become available in Flow, Turbulence and Combustion in the coming days (DOI: 10.1007/s10494-023-00526-y)