Laminar burning characteristics of ammonia/hydrogen/air mixtures with laser ignition

Ning Wang, Shuai Huang, Zhifei Zhang, Tie Li, Ping Yi, Dawei Wu, Gen Chen

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Ammonia, as a zero-carbon fuel, is drawing more and more attention. The major challenge of using ammonia as a fuel for the combustion engines lies in its low chemical reactivity, and therefore more fundamental researches on the combustion characteristics of ammonia are required to explore effective ways to burn ammonia in engines. In this study, the laminar burning characteristics of the premixed ammonia/hydrogen/air mixtures are investigated. In the experiment, the laser ignition was used to achieve stable ignition of the ammonia/air mixtures with an equivalence ratio range from 0.7 to 1.4. The propagating flame was recorded with the high-speed shadowgraphy. Three different processing methods were introduced to calculate the laminar burning velocity with a consideration of the flame structure characteristics induced by the laser ignition. The effects of initial pressure (0.1 MPa–0.5 MPa), equivalence ratio (0.7–1.4), hydrogen fraction (0–20%) on the laminar burning velocity were investigated under the initial ambient temperature of 360 K. The state-of-the-art kinetic models were used to calculate the laminar burning velocities in the CHEMKIN-pro software. Both the simulation and experimental results show that the laminar burning velocity of the ammonia mixtures increases at first, reaches the peak around ϕ of 1.1, and then decreases with the equivalence ratio increasing from 0.7 to 1.4. The peak laminar burning velocities of the ammonia mixture are lower than 9 cm/s and are remarkably lower than those of hydrocarbon fuels. The laminar burning velocity of the ammonia mixture decreases with the increase of the initial ambient pressure, and it can be drastically speeded up with the addition of hydrogen. While the models except for those by Miller and Bian can give reasonable predictions compared to the experimental results for the equivalence ratio from 0.7 to 1.1 in the ammonia (80%)/hydrogen (20%)/air mixtures, all the kinetic models overpredict the experiments for the richer mixtures, indicating further work necessary in this respect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31879-31893
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number62
Early online date6 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The supports by the Major International (Regional) Joint Research Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 52020105009 ) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 51776125 ) are gratefully acknowledged. The assistances by Xinyi Zhou, Xinran Wang and other students in the Large Engine Research Center of SJTU are highly appreciated.


  • ammonia
  • hydrogen
  • laser ignition
  • combustion
  • laminar burning velocity
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen
  • Laser ignition
  • Laminar burning velocity
  • Combustion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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