NOx formation and flame velocity profiles of iso-and n-isomers of butane and butanol

Gregory A. Chung, Benjamin Akih-Kumgeh, Graeme M.G. Watson, Jeffrey M. Bergthorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


NO formation and flame propagation are studied in premixed flames of iso- and n-isomers of butane and butanol through experimental measurements and direct simulation of experimental profiles. The stabilized flame is realized through the impingement of a premixed combustible jet from a contraction nozzle against a temperature-controlled plate. The velocity field is obtained by means of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and nitric oxide concentration profiles are measured using Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF), calibrated using known NO seeding levels. It is found that NO formation in n- and iso-isomers is comparable under the conditions considered, except for rich butanol mixtures, whereby NO formation is higher for iso-butanol. Generally, less NO is formed in butanol flames than in the butane flames. The experiment is simulated by a 1D chemically reacting stagnation flow model, using literature models of C1-C4 hydrocarbons [Wang et al., 2010] and butanol combustion chemistry [Sarathy et al., 2009, 2012]. NO prediction is tested using two of these mechanisms with a previously-published NOx submechanism added into the butane and butanol models. While a good level of agreement is observed in the velocity field prediction under lean and stoichiometric conditions, discrepancies exist under rich conditions. Greater discrepancies are observed in NO prediction, except for the C1-C4 mechanism which shows good agreement with the experiment under lean and stoichiometric conditions. The current study provides data for further development of mechanisms with NOx prediction capabilities for the fuels considered here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-838
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biobutanol
  • Butane
  • Stagnation flames
  • Structure-reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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