Purdue University Graduate School
Strafaccia_Dissertation_Final.pdf (54.36 MB)

Large Eddy Simulation of Nanosecond Repetitively Pulsed Plasma Discharge Effects on Swirl-Stabilized Turbulent Combustion

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posted on 2021-07-28, 03:02 authored by Joshua A StrafacciaJoshua A Strafaccia
An atmospheric pressure swirl-stabilized methane-air burner has been developed as a test platform for nanosecond repetitively pulsed (NRP) discharge plasma-assisted combustion research. Qualitative flame and plasma discharge characterizations were conducted with high-speed video and low-light ICCD imagery, along with a modal acoustic analysis of the entire assembly. A large eddy simulation (LES) of the burner was created using the commercial solver Ansys Fluent to investigate the plasma effects on swirl-stabilized turbulent combustion. A modified version of the solver's premixed combustion mechanism is presented along with a phenomenological plasma discharge model to simulate plasma-assisted combustion. Cold flow particle image velocimetry (PIV) data were collected to validate the non-reacting flow field and assess non-reacting NRP discharge effects. Optical emission spectroscopy (OES) measurements of the second positive system (SPS) of nitrogen mapped temperature characteristics of NRP discharge bursts for comparison to time-resolved simulation data. Finally, time-averaged CH* chemiluminescence data were collected to qualitatively assess the effects of plasma on the experimental burner and simulated flame structure. Overall, the phenomenologically-based combustion mechanism proposed in this work shows good agreement with several experimental observations and provides a promising framework for future plasma-assisted combustion modeling.


Purdue Military Research Initiative (PMRI)


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Sally Bane

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Alina Alexeenko

Additional Committee Member 2

Carlo Scalo

Additional Committee Member 3

Sergey Macheret

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