As the cost of computers declines relative to outfitting and maintaining laser spectroscopy laboratories, computers will account for an increasing proportion of the research conducted in fundamental combustion science. W.C. Gardiner foresaw that progress will be limited by the ability to understand the implications of what has been computed and to draw inferences about the elementary components of the combustion models. Yet the diagnostics that are routinely applied to computer experiments have changed little from the sensitivity analyses included with the original chemkin software distribution. This paper describes some diagnostics capabilities that may be found on the virtual combustion science workbench of the future. These diagnostics are illustrated by some new results concerning which of the hydrogen/oxygen chain branching reactions actually occur in flames, the increased formation of NOx in wrinkled flames versus flat flames, and the adequacy of theoretical predictions of the effects of stretch. Several areas are identified where work is needed, including the areas of combustion chemistry and laser diagnostics, to make the virtual laboratory a reality.

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## Scholarly Works (9 results)

Planar flames are intrinsically unstable in open domains due to the thermal expansion across the burning front--the Landau-Darrieus instability. This instability leads to wrinkling and growth of the flame surface, and corresponding acceleration of the flame, until it is stabilized by cusp formation. We look at the Landau-Darrieus in stability for C/O thermonuclear flames at conditions relevant to thelate stages of a Type Ia supernova explosion. Two-dimensional direct numerical simulations of both single-mode and multi-mode perturbations using a low Mach number hydrodynamics code are presented. We show the effect of the instability on the flame speed as a function of both the density and domain size, demonstrate the existence of the small scale cutoff to the growth of the instability, and look for the proposed breakdown of the non-linear stabilization at low densities. The effects of curvature on the flame as quantified through measurements of the growth rate and computation of the corresponding Markstein number. While accelerations of a few percent are observed, they are too small to have any direct outcome on the supernova explosion.

The speed of propagation of a premixed turbulent flame correlates with the intensity of the turbulence encountered by the flame. One consequence of this property is that premixed flames in both laboratory experiments and practical combustors require some type of stabilization mechanism to prevent blow-off and flashback. The stabilization devices often introduce a level of geometric complexity that is prohibitive for detailed computational studies of turbulent flame dynamics. Furthermore, the stabilization introduces additional fluid mechanical complexity into the overall combustion process that can complicate the analysis of fundamental flame properties. To circumvent these difficulties we introduce a feedback control algorithm that allows us to computationally stabilize a turbulent premixed flame in a simple geometric configuration. For the simulations, we specify turbulent inflow conditions and dynamically adjust the integrated fueling rate to control the mean location of the flame in the domain. We outline the numerical procedure, and illustrate the behavior of the control algorithm on methane flames at various equivalence ratios in two dimensions. The simulation data are used to study the local variation in the speed of propagation due to flame surface curvature.

A Type Ia supernova explosion likely begins as a nuclear runaway near the center of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf. The outward propagating flame is unstable to the Landau-Darrieus, Rayleigh-Taylor, and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, which serve to accelerate it to a large fraction of the speed of sound. We investigate the Rayleigh-Taylor unstable flame at the transition from the flamelet regime to the distributed-burning regime, around densities of 10e7 gm/cc, through detailed, fully resolved simulations. A low Mach number, adaptive mesh hydrodynamics code is used to achieve the necessary resolution and long time scales. As the density is varied, we see a fundamental change in the character of the burning--at the low end of the density range the Rayleigh-Taylor instability dominates the burning, whereas at the high end the burning suppresses the instability. In all cases, significant acceleration of the flame is observed, limited only by the size of the domain we are able to study. We discuss the implications of these results on the potential for a deflagration to detonation transition.

Flame instabilities play a dominant role in accelerating the burning front to a large fraction of the speed of sound in a Type Ia supernova. We present a three-dimensional numerical simulation of a Rayleigh-Taylor unstable carbon flame, following its evolution through the transition to turbulence. A low Mach number hydrodynamics methodis used, freeing us from the harsh time step restrictions imposed by sound waves. We fully resolve the thermal structure of the flame andits reaction zone, eliminating the need for a flame model. A single density is considered, 1.5x107 gm/cc, and half carbon/half oxygen fuel--conditions under which the flame propagated in the flamelet regime in our related two-dimensional study. We compare to a corresponding two-dimensional simulation, and show that whilefire-polishing keeps the small features suppressed in two dimensions, turbulence wrinkles the flame on far smaller scales in the three-dimensional case, suggesting that the transition to the distributed burning regime occurs at higher densities in three dimensions. Detailed turbulence diagnostics are provided. We show that the turbulence follows a Kolmogorov spectrum and is highly anisotropic on the large scales, with a much larger integral scale inthe direction of gravity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that it becomes more isotropic as it cascades down to small scales. Based on the turbulent statistics and the flame properties of our simulation, we compute the Gibson scale. We show the progress of the turbulent flame through a classic combustion regime diagram, indicating that the flame just enters the distributed burning regime near the end of our simulation.

A parallel adaptive low Mach number model is used to study an experimental lean premixed turbulent methane V-flame that is stabilized on a rod spanning the exit plane of a circular nozzle. The fuel is turbulent due to an upstream perforated-plate, and the resulting flame extends downstream of the rod. We present three-dimensional time-dependent simulations of this configuration. The computations incorporate detailed reaction chemistry and transport using a dynamically adaptive block-structured grid algorithm and a time-split integration procedure. Flow field and flame surface statistics are gathered from the experiment and are compared to the computed results.