Numerical Simulation of Premixed Turbulent Methane Combustion

John B. Bell

Marcus S. Day

Joseph F. Grcar

Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 50A-1148
Berkeley, CA 94720


This report was submitted to the 29th Combustion Symposium

In this paper we study the behavior of a premixed turbulent methane flame in three dimensions using numerical simulation. The simulations are performed using an adaptive time-dependent low Mach number combustion algorithm based on a second-order projection formulation that conserves both species mass and total enthalpy. The species and enthalpy equations are treated using an operator-split approach that incorporates stiff integration techniques for modeling detailed chemical kinetics. The methodology also incorporates a mixture model for differential diffusion. For the simulations presented here, methane chemistry and transport are modeled using the DRM-19 (19-species, 84-reaction) mechanism derived from the GRIMech-1.2 mechanism along with its associated thermodynamics and transport databases. We consider a lean flame with equivalence ratio 0.8 for two different levels of turbulent intensity. For each case we examine the basic structure of the flame including turbulent flame speed and flame surface area. The results indicate that flame wrinkling is the dominant factor leading to the increased turbulent flame speed. Joint probability distributions are computed to establish a correlation between heat release and curvature. We also investigate the effect of turbulent flame interaction on the flame chemistry.We identify specific flame intermediates that are sensitive to turbulence and explore various correlations between these species and local flame curvature. We identify different mechanisms by which turbulence modulates the chemistry of the flame.