electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
It has been reasoned that the structures of strongly cellular flames in very lean mixtures approach an array of flame balls, each burning as if it were isolated, thereby indicating a connection between the critical conditions required for existence of steady flame balls and those necessary for occurrence of self-sustained premixed combustion. This is the starting assumption of the present study, in which structures of near-limit steady sphericosymmetrical flame balls are investigated with the objective of providing analytic expressions for critical combustion conditions in ultra-lean hydrogen-oxygen mixtures diluted with N-2 and water vapor. If attention were restricted to planar premixed flames, then the lean-limit mole fraction of H-2 would be found to be roughly ten percent, more than twice the observed flammability limits, thereby emphasizing the relevance of the flame-ball phenomena. Numerical integrations using detailed models for chemistry and radiation show that a one-step chemical-kinetic reduced mechanism based on steady-state assumptions for all chemical intermediates, together with a simple, optically thin approximation for water-vapor radiation, can be used to compute near-limit fuel-lean flame balls with excellent accuracy...