Journal of Fluid Mechanics


A direct numerical simulation study of turbulence and flame structure in transverse jets analysed in jet-trajectory based coordinates

R. W. Grouta1 c1, A. Grubera2, H. Kollaa3, P.-T. Bremera4, J. C. Bennetta3, A. Gyulassya5 and J. H. Chena3

a1 National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401, USA

a2 SINTEF Energy Research, 7465 Trondheim, Norway

a3 Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA 94550, USA

a4 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Livermore, CA 94551, USA

a5 University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA


An ${\mathrm{H} }_{2} / {\mathrm{N} }_{2} $ jet in cross-flow (JICF) of air is studied using three-dimensional direct numerical simulation with and without chemical reaction in order to investigate the role of the complex JICF turbulent flow field in the mechanism of fast fuel-oxidant mixing and of aerodynamic flame stabilization in the near field of the jet nozzle. Focus is on delineating the flow/mixing/chemistry conditions that are necessary and/or sufficient to achieve flame anchoring that ultimately enables the formulation of more reliable and precise guidelines for design of fuel injection nozzles. A mixture averaged diffusion formulation that includes the effect of thermal diffusion is used along with a detailed chemical kinetics mechanism for hydrogen–air combustion. A new parametrization technique is used to describe the jet trajectory: solution of Laplace’s equation upon, and then within, an opportune scalar surface anchored by Dirichlet boundary conditions at the jet nozzle and plume exit from the domain provides a smoothly varying field along the jet path. The surface is selected to describe the scalar mixing and reaction associated with a transverse jet. The derived field, $j(\mathbi{x})$, is used as a condition to mark the position along the natural jet trajectory when analysing the variation of relevant flow, mixing and reaction quantities in the present direct numerical simulation (DNS) datasets. Results indicate the presence of a correlation between the flame base location in parameter space and a region of low velocity magnitude, high enstrophy, high mixing rate and high equivalence ratio (flame root region). Instantaneously, a variety of vortical structures, well known from the literature as important contributors to fuel-oxidant mixing, are observed in both inert and reactive cases with a considerable span in length scales. Moreover, instantaneous plots from reactive cases illustrate that the most upstream flame tongues propagate close to the trailing edge of the fuel jet potential core near the jet shear layer vortex shedding position. Some degree of asymmetry with respect to the domain mid-plane in the spanwise direction is observed in the averaged fields, both for the inert and reactive cases.

(Received August 09 2011)

(Reviewed April 02 2012)

(Accepted May 29 2012)

(Online publication July 10 2012)

Key Words:

  • jets;
  • turbulent mixing;
  • turbulent reacting flows


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