SMPS analysis and detailed numerical simulation of soot particle size distribution function in a laminar premixed ethylene flame

Bin Zhao, Zhiwei Yang, Murray V. Johnston, Hai Wang, Anthony S. Wexler, Michael Balthasar, Markus Kraft

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The particle size distribution function (PSDF) of soot formed in a flat, laminar premixed ethylene-oxygen-argon flame at an equivalence ratio of 2.15:1 was studied using a TSI Model 3936 Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer system. The smallest particles measured were 3 nm dia. At the onset of soot inception at ∼ 5.5 mm from the burner surface, the PSDF was an exponential decay function. At about 7 mm above the burner surface, the PSDF became bimodal. A log-normal distribution began to develop out of the exponential PSDF with a medium diameter (∼ 6 nm) at ∼ 7 mm above the burner surface. This log-normal PSDF continued to grow and reached a medium diameter (∼ 20 nm) at 12 mm above the burner surface. The nucleation of soot particles persisted and the PSDF remained bimodal throughout the flame. Concurrently, a computational study was carried out at Cambridge University. The computation was based on detailed chemistry of fuel pyrolysis and oxidation, and PAH formation and growth. Particle formation and growth was described by particle inception due to coalescence of large PAH, particle growth due to coagulation, PAH condensation, and surface reactions. The computed PSDF were in close agreement with the experimental data and the bimodal distribution was accurately predicted. The cause of the occurrence of the bimodal distribution was thoroughly studied. The implication of the current work on future soot studies was elucidated. Original is an abstract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Symposium on Combustion Abstracts of Works-in-Progress Posters
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2002
Event29th International Symposium on Combustion - Sapporo, Japan
Duration: Jul 21 2002Jul 26 2002


Other29th International Symposium on Combustion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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