DNS study on reactivity stratification with prechamber H2/air turbulent jet flame to enhance NH3/air combustion in gas engines


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The present study investigates turbulent flame dynamics and pollutant emission characteristics in a precham-ber/main chamber system. A H2/air turbulent jet flame issued from the prechamber penetrates into the NH3/air mixture found in the main chamber. Recent experimental studies have demonstrated that this configuration is very promising for future NH3 combustion in gas engines. In the present work, 3D direct numerical simulations (DNS) with detailed chemistry have been carried out in the above configuration. The dynamics of the turbulent premixed flame in the prechamber (flame thickness, flame propagation speed) and the structure of the turbulent stratified flame in the main chamber are investigated. It is found that the stratified flame thickness is becoming thicker as the flame propagates within the NH3/air mixture. The flame displacement speed is slowing down in a first phase, before becoming faster again after jet-induced turbulence starts to decay. A chemical explosive mode analysis (CEMA) has been done to distinguish between ignition, flame propagation, and local extinction events both for the premixed flame in the prechamber and the stratified flame in the main chamber. The temporal evolution of the identified modes are consistent with the flame dynamics and help to explain the later increase in flame displacement speed. NO emission characteristics in the main chamber have also been investigated. The NO production speed first increases, reaches a plateau, before being reduced during later flame propagation; stratification is important to explain the NO emission characteristics. Compared to the laminar NH3/air flame, the NO production speed is obviously larger in the present configuration, mainly due to the reduced contribution of the NO destruction reactions in the fuel pathway. Compared to premixed NH3/H2/air flames with H2 volume ratios found in practical systems (typically >= 0.4), the NO production speed is lower in the present configuration, demonstrating its superiority for practical applications. Finally, conventional heat release rate (HRR) markers are evaluated for the stratified flame. They approximate quite well the general structure of the flame front, but lead to noticeable quantitative errors.
DNS,Prechamber,Stratified flame,NH3,H2,air flames,Chemical explosive mode analysis (CEMA)
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