Response of spherical diffusion flames subjected to rotation: Microgravity experimentation and computational simulation

Sean W. Yoo, Swetaprovo Chaudhuri, Kurt R. Sacksteder, Peng Zhang, Delin Zhu, Chung K. Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Microgravity experiments were conducted in the 2.2-s drop tower and zero-gravity facility at NASA-GRC to gain fundamental understanding of the effects of spinning on an otherwise spherical diffusion flame. The flames were generated by injecting either a fuel or an oxidizer mixture from a porous burner to a controlled ambient of either an oxidizer or fuel mixture, respectively. Results show that the polar flame location scales with the angular velocity monotonically as ωa, where a is greater and smaller than unity for small and large spinning velocities, respectively. On the contrary, the equatorial flame location responds nonmonotonically to increasing spinning velocity: first increasing and then decreasing. The experimental observations agree well with the computational simulation where the simulated results demonstrate that the nonmonotonic response of the equatorial flame location is caused by dilution of the reactant concentration in the outwardly-directed radial flow by the product and inert that are carried by the inwardly-directed polar flow upon traversing the flame segment in the polar region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-672
Number of pages8
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Rotating spherical diffusion flame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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