Laser induced spark ignition of methane-oxygen mixtures

C. M. Ho, B. J. Reilly, Taewoo Lee, D. A. Santavicca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The results from an experimental study of laser induced spark ignition of methane-oxygen mixtures are presented. The experiments were conducted at atmospheric pressure and 296K under laminar-premixed and turbulent-incompletely mixed conditions. A pulsed, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser was used as the ignition source. Laser sparks with energies of 10 mJ and 40 mJ were used, as well as a conventional electrode spark with an effective energy of 6 mJ. Measurements were made of the flame kernel radius as a function of time using pulsed laser shadowgraphy. The initial size of the spark ignited flame kernel was found to correlate reasonably well with breakdown energy as predicted by the Taylor spherical blast wave model. The subsequent growth rate of the flame kernel was found to increase with time from a value less than to a value greater than the adiabatic, unstretched laminar growth rate. This behavior was attributed to the combined effects of geometric flame stretch and an apparent wrinkling of the flame surface due to the extremely rapid acceleration of the flame. The very large laminar flame speed of methane-oxygen mixtures appears to be the dominate factor affecting the growth rate of spark ignited flame kernels, with the mode of ignition having a small effect. The effect of incomplete fuel-oxidizer mixing was found to have a significant effect on the growth rate, one which was greater than could simply be accounted for by the effect of local variations in the equivalence ratio on the local flame speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/NASA/OAI Conference on Advanced SEI Technologies, 1991
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes
EventAIAA/NASA/OAI Conference on Advanced SEI Technologies, 1991 - Cleveland, United States
Duration: Sep 4 1991Sep 6 1991


OtherAIAA/NASA/OAI Conference on Advanced SEI Technologies, 1991
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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