Reactive flow simulations involving turbulence-chemistry interactions can be very challenging because of the strong non-linear coupling between chemistry and fluid dynamics. Furthermore, the chemistry is described with hundreds of reactions, which is prohibitive to solve using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Using a reduced set of mechanisms that contains a subset of the important species is more practical. However, the species modeled must capture the key combustion characteristics of interest, such as ignition, species distributions and major pollutant formation. Previously, the authors used the joint probability density function (PDF) to study the non-premixed turbulent flames, and continue the work here. New CFD simulations were conducted for a non-premixed turbulent syngas flame using four reduced mechanisms models (3-step, 8-step, 9-step and 12-step reactions) to assess the predictive capabilities in the calculation of turbulence-chemistry interactions. The performance of the different reduced mechanism models was assessed and compared with previous PDF model results and the experimental results of Correa and Gulati (1992, “Measurements and Modeling of a Bluff Body Stabilized Flame,” Combustion and Flame, 89(2)). The predictions of temperature and species from the reduced mechanisms of the 3-step and 8-step were found to have differences as large as 20%. It was also found that the reduced 12-step mechanism was able to represent the strong turbulence-chemistry interactions in the syngas flame and demonstrated good ability of predicting species distribution. Therefore, a simplified chemical mechanism model was successfully developed to simulate the non-premixed syngas flame. The 12-step reduced mechanism will guide other reduced mechanism models for syngas fuels. However, the PDF method still gives the best predictions of temperature and requires the smallest computational time.

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