Combustion characteristics of a swirling inverse diffusion flame upon oxygen content variation

H. S. Zhen, Chun Wah Leung, Chun Shun Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The combustion characteristics of a swirling inverse diffusion flame (IDF) upon variation of the oxygen content in the oxidizer were experimentally studied. The oxidizer jet was a mixture mainly composed of oxygen and nitrogen gases, with a volumetric oxygen fraction of 20%, 21% and 26%, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was used as the fuel. Each set of experiment was conducted with constant oxygen content in the oxidizer. When the oxygen was varied, the changes in flame appearance, flame temperature, overall pollutant emission and heating behaviors of the swirling IDF were investigated. The swirling IDFs with different oxygen content in the oxidizer have similar flame structure involving a large-size and high-temperature internal recirculation zone (IRZ) which favors for thermal NO formation, and the thermal mechanism dominates the NO production for the swirling IDFs. The use of nitrogen-diluted air (with 20% oxygen) allowed the IDFs to operate at lower temperature with reduced NO.xformation, compared to the case of air/LPG combustion (with 21% oxygen). Meanwhile, an increase in CO emission is observed. With oxygen-enriched air (26% oxygen), the increase in temperature and EINO.xunder lean conditions is more significant than under rich conditions. With 26% oxygen in the oxidizer stream, the IDF produces: (1) a shorter and narrowed navy-blue flame ring located closer to the burner exit, (2) highly luminous yellow flame extending into the central IRZ and above the blue flame ring, (3) a low CO emission, especially under lean conditions, (4) an increase in temperature at low F{cyrillic} while a decrease in temperature at high F{cyrillic}, and (5) an increase in EINO.xat all F{cyrillic}. The heating test using the swirling IDFs in flame impingement heat transfer reveals that the heating rate can be monotonically increased as oxygen content in the oxidizer jet increases under the lean condition (F{cyrillic}= 1.0). The oxygen enrichment does not contribute to the heating rate under the rich condition (F{cyrillic}= 2.0), because for the non-premixed combustion of an IDF, the enrichment in oxygen means a lower oxidizer jet Reynolds number and thus less complete combustion occurs as a result of reduced amount of entrained ambient air.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2925-2933
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Induced swirl
  • Inverse diffusion flame
  • LPG/air combustion
  • Oxygen depletion
  • Oxygen enrichment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Energy


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