1D Simulation of Avalanche to Streamer to Spark Transition of Plasma Discharge in Ammonia-Air Combustion

Taaresh Taneja, Suo Yang, Hariswaran Sitaraman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Scopus Citations


The backward problem of plasma assisted combustion emphasizes evaluating the effect of the evolving thermochemical state on the plasma discharge. This paper investigates the dependence of avalanche to streamer to spark formation dynamics and kinetics on the gas composition and temperature at different points in an ammonia-air premixed laminar flame using a self-consistent multigrid-based 1D plasma solver. Different values of ..alpha.., the coefficient for effective ionization events per unit length, have been reported for electron avalanches in air and stoichiometric NH3-air mixtures. The streamer inception has been shown to obey the Meek's criterion. An exponential reduction in streamer and spark formation time has been observed from plasma simulations at different points in the unburnt, pre-heat zone, reaction zone and the fully burnt regions of the premixed flame. While the enhancement of the reduced electric field with increasing temperature affects effective ionization, there exists a minimum breakdown field for streamer formation, which does not vary proportionally with the changing number density of the gas. The change in the mixture from reactants (NH3, O2, N2) to products of complete combustion of ammonia in air (N2, H2O) has also been shown to affect the streamer and spark formation. Finally, the major pathways during the streamer and spark phases which are responsible for producing important radicals used in combustion of NH3 are also discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2024
EventAIAA SCITECH 2024 - Orlando, FL
Duration: 8 Jan 202412 Jan 2024


ConferenceAIAA SCITECH 2024
CityOrlando, FL

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-2C00-88321


  • ammonia discharge
  • non-equilibrium plasma
  • plasma assisted combustion
  • plasma fluid modeling


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