Flame propagation through converging-diverging (C-D) microchannels

Sayan Biswas, Li Qiao

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Heavy-duty natural gas engines utilize prechamber ignition system to achieve ultra-lean combustion. A small amount of near-stoichiometric fuel/air mixture is burned in the prechamber, and the flame passes through a small orifice and then ignites the main chamber mixture in the form of a hot jet. The purpose of this study was to understand the physics of a flame passing through a small orifice (1 - 4 mm) - whether it would survive or extinguish. An experiment has been developed to investigate the characteristics of CH4/air premixed flame passing through a small channel. Both straight and converging-diverging microchannels were considered. For the latter, a cylindrical quartz tube with the inlet to throat ratio of 2:1 was used as a model channel. The influences of the equivalence ratio, inlet, and throat diameters were studied parametrically. Dynamic behavior of flame propagation inside the channels was studied using CH∗ chemiluminescence, as well as direct imaging. Flame dynamics such as flame shape, propagation speed, cyclic oscillatory motions, and local extinction were determined. The stable flame propagation criteria were proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting - College Park, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2017Apr 26 2017


Other10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Park


  • Flame propagation in converging-diverging channels
  • Microchannels
  • Microscale combustion
  • Stable flame propagation through microchannel


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