Numerical and experimental studies were conducted to investigate the effects of hydrogen and helium addition to fuel on soot formation in atmospheric axisymmetric coflow laminar methane-air diffusion flame. Soot temperature and volume fraction distributions were measured using a two-dimensional two-color technique. Numerically the conservation equations of mass, momentum, energy, and species in the limit of low-Mach number were solved. Detailed gas-phase chemistry and thermal and transport properties were accounted for. Radiative heat transfer by CO, CO2, H2O, and soot was calculated using the discrete-ordinates method with the radiative properties of the mixture obtained from a wide-band model. Soot was modeled using a two-equation semi-empirical model in which the mechanisms for inception and surface growth are assumed to be PAH coagulation and H-abstraction acetylene addition. Both experimental and numerical results show that helium addition is more efficient than hydrogen addition in reducing soot formation in the methane flame. These results are different from the previous investigations in ethylene flames where the hydrogen addition was found to be more effective in reducing soot formation than helium addition due to the additional chemical suppression of hydrogen on soot. It is suggested here that hydrogen chemically enhances soot formation when added to methane.

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