Investigation of the effect of chemistry models on the numerical predictions of the supersonic combustion of hydrogen

K. Kumaran, V. Babu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


In this numerical study, the influence of chemistry models on the predictions of supersonic combustion in a model combustor is investigated. To this end, 3D, compressible, turbulent, reacting flow calculations with a detailed chemistry model (with 37 reactions and 9 species) and the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model have been carried out. These results are compared with earlier results obtained using single step chemistry. Hydrogen is used as the fuel and three fuel injection schemes, namely, strut, staged (i.e., strut and wall) and wall injection, are considered to evaluate the impact of the chemistry models on the flow field predictions. Predictions of the mass fractions of major species, minor species, dimensionless stagnation temperature, dimensionless static pressure rise and thrust percentage along the combustor length are presented and discussed. Overall performance metrics such as mixing efficiency and combustion efficiency are used to draw inferences on the nature (whether mixing- or kinetic-controlled) and the completeness of the combustion process. The predicted values of the dimensionless wall static pressure are compared with experimental data reported in the literature. The calculations show that multi step chemistry predicts higher and more wide spread heat release than what is predicted by single step chemistry. In addition, it is also shown that multi step chemistry predicts intricate details of the combustion process such as the ignition distance and induction distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-841
Number of pages16
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogen detailed chemistry
  • Numerical simulations
  • Scramjet
  • Supersonic combustion
  • Supersonic reacting flow


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