Possible effects of small-scale intermittency in turbulent reacting flows

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


It is now well established that quantities such as energy dissipation, scalar dissipation and enstrophy possess huge fluctuations in turbulent flows, and that the fluctuations become increasingly stronger with increasing Reynolds number of the flow. The effects of this small-scale "intermittency" on various aspects of reacting flows have not been addressed fully. This paper draws brief attention to a few possible effects on reaction rates, flame extinction, flamelet approximation, conditional moment closure methods, and so forth, besides commenting on possible effects on the resolution requirements of direct numerical simulations of turbulence. We also discuss the likelihood that large-amplitude events in a given class of shear flows are characteristic of that class, and that, plausible estimates of such quantities cannot be made, in general, on the hypothesis that large and small scales are independent. Finally, we briefly describe some ideas from multifractals as a potentially useful tool for an economical handling of a few of the problems touched upon here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number2-4 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - 2004


  • Intermittency
  • Multifractal scaling
  • Resolution inDNS
  • Turbulent reacting flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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