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A comparison of the blow-out behavior of turbulent premixed ammonia/hydrogen/nitrogen-air and methane–air flames


Ammonia has been identified as a promising energy carrier that produces zero carbon dioxide emissions when used as a fuel in gas turbines. Although the combustion properties of pure ammonia are poorly suited for firing of gas turbine combustors, blends of ammonia, hydrogen, and nitrogen can be optimized to exhibit premixed, unstretched laminar flame properties very similar to those of methane. There is limited data available on the turbulent combustion characteristics of such blends and important uncertainties exist related to their blow-out behavior. The present work reports experimental measurements of the blow-out limits in an axisymmetric unconfined bluff-body stabilized burner geometry of NH3/H2/N2-air flame, comprised of 40% NH3, 45% H2, and 15% N2 by volume in the "fuel" blend. Blow-out limits for the NH3/H2/N2-air flames are compared to those of methane-air flames. OH PLIF and OH chemiluminescence images of the flames just prior to blow-out are presented. Furthermore, two large-scale Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of temporally evolving turbulent premixed jet flames are performed to investigate differences in the turbulence-chemistry interaction and extinction behavior between the NH3/H2/N2-air and methane-air mixtures. The experiments reveal that the blow-out velocity of NH3/H2/N2-air flames is an order of magnitude higher than that of methane-air flames characterized by nearly identical unstretched laminar flame speed, thermal thickness and adiabatic flame temperature. Results from the DNS support the experimental observation and clearly illustrate that a methane-air mixture exhibits a stronger tendency towards extinction compared to the NH3/H2/N2-air blend for identical strain rates. Furthermore, the DNS results reveal that, even in the presence of intense sheared turbulence, fast hydrogen diffusion into the spatially distributed preheat layers of the fragmented and highly turbulent flame front plays a crucial role in the enhancement of the local heat release rate and, ultimately, in preventing the occurrence of extinction. © 2020 The Combustion Institute.


Academic article


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 617137
  • Sigma2 / nn9527k




  • Samuel Wiseman
  • Martin Rieth
  • Andrea Gruber
  • James Dawson
  • Jacqueline H. Chen


  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • SINTEF Energy Research / Termisk energi



Published in

Proceedings of the Combustion Institute





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