On the thermodynamic properties of thermal plasma in the flame kernel of hydrocarbon/air premixed gases


Thermodynamic properties of hydrocarbon/air plasma mixtures at ultra-high temperatures must be precisely calculated due to important influence on the flame kernel formation and propagation in combusting flows and spark discharge applications. A new algorithm based on the complete chemical equilibrium assumption is developed to calculate the ultra-high temperature plasma composition and thermodynamic properties, including enthalpy, entropy, Gibbs free energy, specific heat at constant pressure, specific heat ratio, speed of sound, mean molar mass, and degree of ionization. The method is applied to compute the thermodynamic properties of H2/air and CH4/air plasma mixtures for different temperatures (1000–100 000 K), different pressures (10-6–100 atm), and different fuel/air equivalence ratios within flammability limit. In calculating the individual thermodynamic properties of the atomic species needed to compute the complete equilibrium composition, the Debye-Huckel cutoff criterion has been used for terminating the series expression of the electronic partition function so as to capture the reduction of the ionization potential due to pressure and the intense connection between the electronic partition function and the thermodynamic properties of the atomic species and the number of energy levels taken into account. Partition functions have been calculated using tabulated data for available atomic energy levels. The Rydberg and Ritz extrapolation and interpolation laws have been used for energy levels which are not observed. The calculated plasma properties are then presented as functions of temperature, pressure and equivalence ratio, in terms of a new set of thermodynamically self-consistent correlations that are shown to provide very accurate fits suitable for efficient use in CFD simulations. Comparisons with existing data for air plasma show excellent agreement.

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Askari, O., Beretta, G., Eisazadeh-Far, K. et al. On the thermodynamic properties of thermal plasma in the flame kernel of hydrocarbon/air premixed gases. Eur. Phys. J. D 70, 159 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjd/e2016-70195-4

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