Operating combustion systems at elevated pressures has the advantage of improved thermal efficiency and system compactness. However, it also leads to increased soot emission. We report herein a computational study to characterize the effect of oxygenation on PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and soot emissions in ethylene diffusion flames at pressures 1–8atm. Laminar oxygenated flames are established in a counterflow configuration by using N2 diluted fuel stream along with O2 enriched oxidizer stream such that the stoichiometric mixture fraction (ζst) is varied, but the adiabatic flame temperature is not materially changed. Simulations are performed using a validated fuel chemistry model and a detailed soot model. The primary objective of the study was to expand the fundamental understanding of PAH and soot formation in oxygenated flames at elevated pressures. At a given pressure, as the level of oxygenation (ζst) is increased, we observe a significant reduction in PAHs (benzene and pyrene) and consequently in soot formation. Further, at a fixed ζst, as pressure is increased, it leads to increased benzene and pyrene formation, and thus increased soot emission. The reaction path analysis indicates that this can be attributed to the fact that at higher pressures, the C2/C4 path becomes more significant for benzene formation compared to the propargyl recombination path.

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