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  Cornell University

MAE Publications and Papers

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

New article: Small Scales, Many Species and the Manifold Challenges of Turbulent Combustion

Article: Pope SB (2013). “Small scales, many species and the manifold challenges of turbulent combustion.” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 34: 1-31.


Abstract: A major goal of combustion research is to develop accurate, tractable, predictive models for the phenomena occurring in combustion devices, which predominantly involve turbulent flows. With the focus on gas-phase, non-premixed flames, recent progress is reviewed, and the significant remaining challenges facing models of turbulent combustion are examined. The principal challenges are posed by the small scales, the many chemical species involved in hydrocarbon combustion, and the coupled processes of reaction and molecular diffusion in a turbulent flow field. These challenges, and how different modeling approaches face them, are examined from the viewpoint of low-dimensional manifolds in the high-dimensional space of chemical species. Most current approaches to modeling turbulent combustion can be categorized as flamelet-like or PDF-like. The former assume or imply that the compositions occurring in turbulent combustion lie on very-low-dimensional manifolds, and that the coupling between turbulent mixing and reaction can be parameterized by at most one or two variables. PDF-like models do not restrict compositions in this way, and they have proved successful in describing more challenging combustion regimes in which there is significant local extinction, or in which the turbulence significantly disrupts flamelet structures. Advances in diagnostics, the design of experiments, computational resources, and direct numerical simulations are all contributing to the continuing development of more accurate and general models of turbulent combustion.

(C) 2012 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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