An elementary model for the validation of flamelet approximations in non-premixed turbulent combustion

A. Bourlioux, A. J. Majda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fundamental soundness of three flamelet models for non-premixed turbulent combustion is examined on the basis of their performance in an idealized model problem that merges ideas from the laminar asymptotic theory for non-premixed flames and rigorous homogenization theory for the diffusion of a passive scalar. The overall flame configuration is stabilized by a mean gradient in the passive scalar: large Damkohler number asymptotics results are available for the laminar case to quantify the finite-rate effects that cause the flame to depart from its equilibrium state; the same results can also be used to incorporate higher-order corrections in the approximation of the reactive variables in terms of the passive scalar. The use of such flamelet approximations has been extended well beyond the laminar regime as they lie at the core of practical strategies to simulate non-premixed flames in the turbulent regime; the flamelet representation avoids the problem of turbulence closure for the reactive variables by replacing it by the presumably much simpler closure problem for a passive scalar. It is precisely the validity of this substitution outside the laminar regime that is addressed here in the idealized context of a class of small-scale periodic flows for which extensive rigorous results are available for the passive scalar statistics. Results for this simplified problem are reported here for significant wide ranges of Peclet and Damkohler numbers. Asymptotic convergence is observed in terms of the Damkohler number, with a convergence rate that is found to match the laminar predictions and appears relatively insensitive to the Peclet number. The passive scalar dissipation plays a key role in achieving higher-order corrections for the finite-rate case: replacing its pointwise value by an averaged value is convenient practically and can be rigorously motivated for the class of flows studied here, but while it does achieve an overall improvement over the lower-order equilibrium model, the simplification compromises the higher asymptotic convergence observed with the original finite-rate flamelet model with exact local dissipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-210
Number of pages22
JournalCombustion Theory and Modelling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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