During the development of a quasi-dimensional simulation programme for the combustion of hydrogen in spark-ignition engines, the lack of a suitable laminar flame speed formula for hydrogen/air mixtures became apparent. A literature survey shows that none of the existing correlations covers the entire temperature, pressure and mixture composition range as encountered in spark-ignition engines. Moreover, there is ambiguity concerning the pressure dependence of the laminar burning velocity of hydrogen/air mixtures. Finally, no data exists on the influence of residual gases. This paper looks at several reaction mechanisms found in the literature for the kinetics of hydrogen/oxygen mixtures, after which one is selected that corresponds best with available experimental data. An extensive set of simulations with a one-dimensional chemical kinetics code is performed to calculate the laminar flame speed of hydrogen/air mixtures, in a wide range of mixture compositions and initial pressures and temperatures. The use of a chemical kinetics code permits the calculation of any desired set of conditions and enables the estimation of interactions, e.g. between pressure and temperature effects. Finally, a laminar burning velocity correlation is presented, valid for air-to-fuel equivalence ratios λ between 1 and 3 (fuel-to-air equivalence ratio 0.33 < φ < 1), initial pressures between 1 bar and 16 bar, initial temperatures between 300 K and 800 K and residual gas fractions up to 30 vol%. These conditions are sufficient to cover the entire operating range of hydrogen fuelled spark-ignition engines.

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