Because combustion is essentially an Arrhenius process, premixed flames generally can only exist within certain parameter ranges, or extinction limits, that correspond to a rate of heat production that is sufficient to sustain the reaction in a given flow geometry. Nonetheless, it is frequently desirable to extend these limits, often for the purpose of increasing fuel efficiency and/or reducing the rate of formation of pollutant species. Another emerging motivation is to allow combustion to be sustained in relatively small volumes, which are characterized by larger surface-to-volume ratios, that would otherwise lead to extinguishing levels of heat loss. Surface catalysts are widely used to achieve such enhancements with respect to efficiency and pollutant formation, and we wish to now consider the role catalysts might play with respect to nonadiabatic flames.

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