Plasma Assisted Low Temperature Combustion

Yiguang Ju, Joseph K. Lefkowitz, Christopher B. Reuter, Sang Hee Won, Xueliang Yang, Suo Yang, Wenting Sun, Zonglin Jiang, Qi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


This paper presents recent kinetic and flame studies in plasma assisted low temperature combustion. First, the kinetic pathways of plasma chemistry to enhance low temperature fuel oxidation are discussed. The impacts of plasma chemistry on fuel oxidation pathways at low temperature conditions, substantially enhancing ignition and flame stabilization, are analyzed base on the ignition and extinction S-curve. Secondly, plasma assisted low temperature ignition, direct ignition to flame transition, diffusion cool flames, and premixed cool flames are demonstrated experimentally by using dimethyl ether and n-heptane as fuels. The results show that non-equilibrium plasma is an effective way to accelerate low temperature ignition and fuel oxidation, thus enabling the establishment of stable cool flames at atmospheric pressure. Finally, the experiments from both a non-equilibrium plasma reactor and a photolysis reactor are discussed, in which the direct measurements of intermediate species during the low temperature oxidations of methane/methanol and ethylene are performed, allowing the investigation of modified kinetic pathways by plasma-combustion chemistry interactions. Finally, the validity of kinetic mechanisms for plasma assisted low temperature combustion is investigated. Technical challenges for future research in plasma assisted low temperature combustion are then summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-105
Number of pages21
JournalPlasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is partly supported by AFOSR plasma MURI project, US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences as part of an Energy Frontier Research Center on Combustion with Grant No. DE-SC0001198, the NSF Grants of CMMI-1449314 and CBET-1507358, and the Open Fund of State Key Laboratory of High-temperature Gas dynamics, Institute of Mechanics, CAS with Grant No. 2014KF04.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Cool flames
  • Kinetics
  • Low temperature chemistry
  • Plasma assisted combustion


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