Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Tianfeng Lu, Tai-Hsi Fan

Field of Study

Mechanical Engineering


Master of Science

Open Access

Campus Access


Turbulent lean premixed combustion now plays a predominant role in reducing emission of pollutants such as NOx. For turbulent premixed flames located in the thin-reaction-zones regime, small-scale eddies could penetrate into the preheat zone of the flames and enhance the mixing process. In this study, the effects of small-scale turbulence on emission (NOx and CO) formation in premixed flame fronts are investigated through the incorporation of turbulence induced diffusion in the preheat zone of one-dimensional premixed flames. One-dimensional methane/air premixed flames are simulated with the 53-species GRI-Mech 3.0 mechanism at both atmospheric and engine conditions with different turbulence intensities. It is found that the NO generated in flame fronts deceases with increasing intensity of small-scale turbulence and the effect is more profound at high pressures. At high pressures, the turbulence induced diffusion in the preheat zone can reduce the NOx formation in flame fronts by more than 40%. On the other hand, the CO mass fraction in flame fronts increases with increasing intensity of small-scale turbulence. In the cases considered, the CO mass fraction in the flame fronts can increase by more than 55%. In addition, a flamelet-based approach that accounts for the flame thickening effects has been formulated to simulate NOx and CO formation in turbulent lean premixed combustion. In this approach, the species NO and CO are transported and solved in a simulation with chemical source terms being pre-calculated from 1-D premixed flames with detailed chemical kinetics and turbulence induced diffusion. The NO source term can be quantified by its formation in flame fronts and its formation rate in post-flame region. The CO source term can be calculated through its mass fraction at flame fronts, its mass fraction in the post-flame region and an oxidation time scale. The effect of heat loss on NO formation has been studied by investigate the relation between post-flame NO formation rate and flame temperature. Meanwhile, the effect of turbulent-chemistry interaction on NO were studied. The flamelet-based emission model has been implemented into Fluent and 3-Dimensional simulations were conducted in a combustion rig.

Major Advisor

Zhuyin Ren