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Results from a series of direct numerical simulations (DNS) of a high Karlovitz, slightly lean (φ = 0.9), n-C 7 H 16 /air premixed turbulent flame are presented. The flame is statistically flat and is subjected to an inflow of homogeneous isotropic turbulence. A 35-species and 217-reaction mechanism [Bisetti et al. Combust. Flame 159 (2012) 317-335] is used to represent the chemistry. Two simulations have been performed: one with unity Lewis number to asses the effects of turbulence on the flame structure in the absence of differential diffusion, and the other with non-unity Lewis numbers to analyze how turbulence affects differential diffusion. The Karlovitz numbers are 280 and 220 respectively. The first simulation reveals that the flame is strongly affected by turbulence as enhanced mixing largely thickens the preheat zone. However, the turbulent flame structure (i.e. the correlation between species and temperature) is similar to that of a one-dimensional flat flame, suggesting that turbulence has limited effet on the flame in temperature space, in the absence of differential diffusion. In the second simulation, the flame structure is affected by turbulence, as differential diffusion effects are weakened. It is suggested that this result is attributed to the fact that turbulence drives the effective species Lewis numbers towards unity through an increase in effective species and thermal diffusivities. Finally, the reaction zones of both the unity and the non-unity Lewis number turbulent flames remain thin, and are locally broken (only to some extent for the unity Lewis number flame, and more strongly for non-unity).

Please cite this article in press as: B. Savard et al., A computationally-efficient, semi-implicit, iterative method for the time-integration of reacting flows with stiff chemistry, J. Comput. Phys. (2015), http://dx. Abstract A semi-implicit preconditioned iterative method is proposed for the time-integration of the stiff chemistry in simulations of unsteady reacting flows, such as turbulent flames, using detailed chemical kinetic mechanisms. Emphasis is placed on the simultaneous treatment of convection, diffusion, and chemistry, without using operator splitting techniques. The preconditioner corresponds to an approximation of the diagonal of the chemical Jacobian. Upon convergence of the sub-iterations, the fully-implicit, second-order time-accurate, Crank-Nicolson formulation is recovered. Performance of the proposed method is tested theoretically and numerically on one-dimensional laminar and three-dimensional high Karlovitz turbulent premixed n-heptane/air flames. The species lifetimes contained in the diagonal preconditioner are found to capture all critical small chemical timescales, such that the largest stable time step size for the simulation of the turbulent flame with the proposed method is limited by the convective CFL, rather than chemistry. The theoretical and numerical stability limits are in good agreement and are independent of the number of sub-iterations. The results indicate that the overall procedure is second-order accurate in time, free of lagging errors, and the cost per iteration is similar to that of an explicit time integration. The theoretical analysis is extended to a wide range of flames (premixed and non-premixed), unburnt conditions, fuels, and chemical mechanisms. In all cases, the proposed method is found (theoretically) to be stable and to provide good convergence rate for the sub-iterations up to a time step size larger than 1 μs. This makes the proposed method ideal for the simulation of turbulent flames.

Accurate computation of molecular diffusion coefficients in chemically reacting flows can be an expensive procedure, and the use of constant non-unity Lewis numbers has been adopted often as a cheaper alternative. The goal of the current work is to explore the validity and the limitations of the constant non-unity Lewis number approach in the description of molecular mixing in laminar and turbulent flames. To carry out this analysis, three test cases have been selected, including a lean, highly unstable, premixed hydrogen/air flame, a lean turbulent premixed n-heptane/air flame, and a laminar ethylene/air coflow diffusion flame. For the hydrogen flame, both a laminar and a turbulent configuration have been considered. The three flames are characterised by Lewis numbers which are less than unity, greater than unity, and close to unity, respectively. For each flame, mixture-averaged transport simulations are carried out and used as reference data. The current analysis suggests that, for numerous combustion configurations, the constant non-unity Lewis number approximation leads to small errors when the set of Lewis numbers is chosen properly. For the selected test cases and our numerical framework, the reduction of computational cost is found to be minimal.

The isotropy of the smallest turbulent scales is investigated in premixed turbulent combustion by analyzing the vorticity vector in a series of high Karlovitz number premixed flame direct numerical simulations. It is found that increasing the Karlovitz number and the ratio of the integral length scale to the flame thickness both reduce the level of anisotropy. By analyzing the vorticity transport equation, it is determined that the vortex stretching term is primarily responsible for the development of any anisotropy. The local dynamics of the vortex stretching term and vorticity resemble that of homogeneous isotropic turbulence to a greater extent at higher Karlovitz numbers. This results in small scale isotropy at sufficiently high Karlovitz numbers and supports a fundamental similarity of the behavior of the smallest turbulent scales throughout the flame and in homogeneous isotropic turbulence. At lower Karlovitz numbers, the vortex stretching term and the vorticity alignment in the strain-rate tensor eigenframe are altered by the flame. The integral length scale has minimal impact on these local dynamics but promotes the effects of the flame to be equal in all directions. The resulting isotropy in vorticity does not reflect a fundamental similarity between the smallest turbulent scales in the flame and in homogeneous isotropic turbulence. Published by AIP Publishing. [http://dx

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