Microgravity Science and Technology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 377–382 | Cite as

Premixed Flames Under Microgravity and Normal Gravity Conditions

  • Anastasia I. KrikunovaEmail author
  • Eduard E. Son
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Non-Equilibrium Processes in Continuous Media under Microgravity


Premixed conical CH4-air flames were studied experimentally and numerically under normal straight, reversed gravity conditions and microgravity. Low-gravity experiments were performed in Drop tower. Classical Bunsen-type burner was used to find out features of gravity influence on the combustion processes. Mixture equivalence ratio was varied from 0.8 to 1.3. Wide range of flow velocity allows to study both laminar and weakly turbulized flames. High-speed flame chemoluminescence video-recording was used as diagnostic. The investigations were performed at atmospheric pressure. As results normalized flame height, laminar flame speed were measured, also features of flame instabilities were shown. Low- and high-frequency flame-instabilities (oscillations) have a various nature as velocity fluctuations, preferential diffusion instability, hydrodynamic and Rayleigh-Taylor ones etc., that was explored and demonstrated.


Methane-air mixture Combustion Microgravity Flame instability 



The authors would like to thank K.V. Klinkov and C. Eigenbrod for their help in performing experiments under microgravity conditions.

The experimental work has been supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Office for Research under Space Conditions under Grant No. 50WM1125 within the project: “Droplet-Droplet Interactions” which is gratefully acknowledged.

The treatment and analysis of experimental results work was supported by the Ministry of education and science of the Russian Federation within the framework of the research activities on the subject of “Investigation of electrophysical and thermal processes in multiphase and reactive environments”, state registration number AAAA-A-16-116051810083-4.


  1. Aksenov, A.A.: Flowvision: industrial computational fluid dynamics. Comput. Res. Model. 9(1), 5–20 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bates, L., Bradley, D., Gorbatenko, I., Tomlin, A. S.: Computation of methane/air ignition delay and excitation times, using comprehensive and reduced chemical mechanisms and their relevance in engine autoignition. Combust. Flame 185, 105–116 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhatia, P., Singh, R.: Effect of oxygen enrichment in propane laminar diffusion flames under microgravity and earth gravity conditions. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 29(3), 177–190 (2017)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhowal, A. J., Mandal, B. K.: A computational study of soot formation in methane air co-flow diffusion flame under microgravity conditions. Microgravity Sci Technol 28(4), 395–412 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhowal, A. J., Mandal, B. K.: Numerical simulation of transient development of flame, temperature and velocity under reduced gravity in a methane air diffusion flame. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 29(1–2), 151–175 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen, Z.: On the accuracy of laminar flame speeds measured from outwardly propagating spherical flames: methane/air at normal temperature and pressure. Combust. Flame 162(6), 2442–2453 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cheng, R.K., Johnson, M.R., Greenberg, P.S., Wernet, M.P.: Field effects of buoyancy on lean premixed turbulent flames. In: Proceedings of Seventh International Workshop on Microgravity Combustion and Chemically Reacting Systems Rev, vol. 1, pp 221–224 (2003)Google Scholar
  8. Dreyer, M.: The drop tower Bremen. Microgravity Sci Technol 22(4), 461–461 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guahk, Y. T., Lee, D. K., Oh, K. C., Shin, H. D.: Flame-intrinsic Kelvin–Helmholtz instability of flickering premixed flames. Energy Fuels 23(8), 3875–3884 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kee, R.J., Grcar, J.F., Smooke, M.D., Miller, J.A.: Sandia National Laboratory Report SAND85-8240 (1985)Google Scholar
  11. Kono, M., Ito, K., Niioka, T., Kadota, T., Sato, J. I.: Current state of combustion research in microgravity. Symp. (Int.) Combust. 26(1), 1189–1199 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kostiuk, L. W., Cheng, R. K.: The coupling of conical wrinkled laminar flames with gravity. Combust. Flame 103(1–2), 27–40 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krikunova, A. I., Son, E. E.: Effect of gravity on premixed methane–air flames. High. Temp. 1–8. (2018)
  14. Krikunova, A. I., Son, E. E., Saveliev, A. S.: Premixed conical flame stabilization. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 774(1) (2016)Google Scholar
  15. Law, C. K., Faeth, G. M.: Opportunities and challenges of combustion in microgravity. Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 20(1), 65–113 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Prud’Homme, R., Legros, G., Torero, J. L.: Combustion in microgravity: the French contribution. C.R. Mec. 345(1), 86–98 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Reimann, J., Will, S.: Optical diagnostics on sooting laminar diffusion flames in microgravity. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 16(1–4), 333–337 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Reimann, J., Kuhlmann, S. A., Will, S.: Investigations on soot formation in heptane jet diffusion flames by optical techniques. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 22(4), 499–505 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ronney, P. D., Wachman, H. Y.: Effect of gravity on laminar premixed gas combustion I: Flammability limits and burning velocities. Combust. Flame 62(2), 107–119 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ross, H. D. (ed.): Microgravity Combustion: Fire in Free Fall. Academic, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  21. Sharp, L., Dietrich, D., Motil, B.: Microgravity fluids and combustion research at NASA Glenn Research Center. J. Aerosp. Eng. 26(2), 439–450 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shepherd, I. G., Cheng, R. K., Day, M. S.: The dynamics of flame flicker in conical premixed flames: an experimental and numerical study. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2005)Google Scholar
  23. Son, E. E., Krikunova, A. I., Saveliev, A. S.: Premixed combustion study: turbulence in the nozzle behind grids and spheres. High. Temp. 54(3), 403–408 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang, Y., Lei, Y., Zhang, X., Hu, W., König, J., Hinrichs, O., Eigenbrod, C, Rath, H.: Buoyancy influence on wrinkled premixed V-flames. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 13(1), 8 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wang, Y., König, J., Eigenbrod, C.: Effects of buoyancy on open turbulent lean premixed methane-air V-flames. Microgravity Sci. Technol. 14(3), 25–37 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. ZARM drop tower Bremen User Manual: ZARM FABmbH University of Bremen. Bremen, April 26 (2012)Google Scholar
  27. Zimont, V. L.: Damköhler-Shelkin paradox in the theory of turbulent flame propagation, and a concept of the premixed flame at the intermediate asymptotic stage. Flow Turbul Combust 97(3), 875–912 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations