Near-limit laminar burning velocities of microgravity premixed hydrogen flames with chemically-passive fire suppressants

Li Qiao, Yongxian Gu, Werner J.A. Dahm, Elaine S. Oran, Gerard M. Faeth

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Effects of chemically-passive fire suppressants on laminar premixed hydrogen flames were investigated by combined use of microgravity experiments and computations. The experiments used a short-drop free-fall laboratory facility that provides at least 450 ms of 10-2 g. Near-limit laminar burning velocities were measured for outwardly propagating spherical stoichiometric hydrogen-air flames with varying concentrations of He, Ar, N 2, and CO2 as suppressants. Burning velocities were also computed using the steady, one-dimensional laminar premixed flame code PREMIX. Both measured and computed results showed the suppressants to increase in effectiveness in the order He, Ar, N2, to CO2. The differences in effectiveness are shown to result from increased quenching of reactions by the increased specific heat due to the suppressant and from changes in the transport rates near the flame. The concentration needed for each suppressant to prevent flame propagation was also determined. Far from this flammability limit, agreement between measured and computed laminar burning velocities was good, but for near-limit flames the computed velocities were significantly lower than measured values. These near-limit differences may be due to third-body recombination rates for H + O2 + M = HO2 + M reactions, and in particular to the third-body chaperon efficacy of various species M.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2701-2709
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume31 II
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event31st International Symposium on Combustion - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: Aug 5 2006Aug 11 2006


  • Chemically passive suppressants
  • Extinction
  • Hydrogen flames
  • Microgravity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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