Non-premixed counterflow methane flames in DC/AC/NS electric fields

Yong Tang, Marien Simeni Simeni, Qiang Yao, Igor V. Adamovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The response of counterflow diffusion flames to sub-breakdown DC and AC electric fields, as well as their superposition with ns pulse discharge waveforms, is studied in the plane-to-plane electrode geometry. Sub-breakdown DC and low-frequency AC electric fields cause the flame displacement toward the grounded electrode, in the direction of the applied field, indicating that the body force on the positive ions exceeds that on the electrons and negative ions. As the AC frequency increases, the flame response becomes less pronounced, due to the reduction of the electrohydrodynamic (EHD) body force impulse over the AC half-period. The electric field in the electrode gap is determined by ps Electric Field Induced Second Harmonic (E-FISH) generation, with absolute calibration using sub-breakdown ns pulses overlapped with the measured electric field waveform. The results show that the electric field distribution across the flame in the current saturation regime follows the Laplacian field. This indicates that the space charge density in the gap is too low to distort the applied DC or AC field, consistent with the kinetic modeling predictions. Combining a nanosecond pulse discharge with a sub-breakdown DC field generates a diffuse plasma across the entire gap. Time-resolved and spatially resolved measurements of the electric field in the discharge indicate the ionization wave propagation between the electrodes. The present results do not exhibit a detectable flame displacement enhancement by ns discharge pulses combined with a sub-breakdown field, observed previously. Kinetic modeling calculations show that the absence of this effect in the plane-to-plane geometry is due to the rapid plasma self-shielding. This indicates that alternative electrode geometries limiting the self-shielding would be more effective for the plasma / electric field enhanced flameholding and flame stabilization applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112051
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based in part upon work supported by the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration , under Award Number DE-NA0002374 . The support of the China Scholarship Council (No. 201706210253 ) is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Counterflow methane flame
  • E-FISH
  • Electric field
  • Nanosecond pulse discharge


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-premixed counterflow methane flames in DC/AC/NS electric fields'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this