Numerical simulation of fuel droplet extinction due to forced convection

Daniel N. Pope, George Gogos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The extinction of an envelope flame at the forward stagnation point of a liquid fuel droplet due to forced convection is numerically investigated. The droplet is oxidizing within an air stream at atmospheric pressure. Combustion is modeled using finite-rate chemical kinetics and a one-step overall reaction. The gas-phase solution is obtained using the quasi-steady equations of mass, momentum, species, and energy conservation. A new multicomponent formulation, which is appropriate for use with the finite-volume method, was developed to accurately describe the mass diffusion. Droplet circulation is accounted for by solving the quasi-steady mass and momentum conservation equations, for the liquid phase. The gas phase and liquid phase are coupled via interfacial conservation equations, and the complete set of governing equations is solved iteratively. Results for extinction velocity as a function of droplet diameter and freestream temperature are presented for an n-heptane droplet. Numerical predictions for n-heptane are in quantitative agreement with the limited n-heptane experimental data available in the literature, and in qualitative agreement with experimental results for a variety of fuels and over a wide range of ambient temperatures and droplet diameters. A linear dependence of the extinction velocity as a function of droplet diameter constitutes the present state of knowledge. This study predicts a nonlinear dependence for small diameters (d<1mm) and a linear dependence only for large diameters (d>2mm). The predictions also show that a form of the Damköhler number at extinction can be correlated with the Reynolds number through the use of the transfer number and appropriate dimensionless activation and adiabatic flame temperatures. A correlation that accurately reproduces the numerical predictions for extinction velocity over a wide range of droplet diameters and ambient temperatures is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-106
Number of pages18
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by NASA EPSCoR under Grant NCC5-401 and ARO EPSCoR under Grant DAAD19-99-1-0116. Computational resources were provided by the Thermal/Fluids Computational Facility and the Research Computing Facility at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.


  • Droplet combustion
  • Extinction
  • Finite volume
  • Numerical simulation
  • n-Heptane


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical simulation of fuel droplet extinction due to forced convection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this