A Caltech Library Service

Investigation of methanol ignition phenomena using a rapid compression machine

Wang, Yingdi and Qi, Yunliang and Liu, Wei and Wang, Zhi (2020) Investigation of methanol ignition phenomena using a rapid compression machine. Combustion and Flame, 211 . pp. 147-157. ISSN 0010-2180.

[img] MS Word - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The ignition phenomena of stoichiometric methanol/oxygen/argon mixture are comprehensively investigated at p = 12–24 bar, T = 840–1000 K, using a rapid compression machine (RCM). A strong tendency of stochastic ignition followed by non-forcible flame propagation at a speed of ∼11 m/s is demonstrated. Such an event may be responsible for the pre-ignition or super-knock issue in methanol engines. Under engine relevant spark ignition conditions, different ignition regimes are observed in the end-gas, including thermal explosion, supersonic deflagration, and detonation, characterized by the Chapman–Jouguet velocity criterion. All modes originate from a similar, early auto-ignition ahead of the spark-triggered flame. The auto-ignition process is proved to be dominated by chemical kinetics, where the Livengood–Wu correlation is applicable. In addition, the transition mechanism of different ignition regimes is thoroughly validated against previous ignition theories. Basically, the detonation onset is closely related to the initial thermodynamic condition of the mixture. At a given temperature, the decrease of pressure induces the gradual substitution of detonation by supersonic deflagration and thermal explosion due to a smaller reactivity gradient in the end-gas. The diagram proposed by Bradley is adopted to interpret the transition mechanism of methanol, which turns out to be different from previous results of isooctane. A moderate burned mass fraction range of 0.35–0.45 is found when detonation is initiated.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2019 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. Received 25 December 2018, Revised 15 April 2019, Accepted 16 September 2019, Available online 5 October 2019. This study is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos.: 91541206, 21761142012, 51706121). The authors are grateful to Rémy Mével from Center for Combustion Energy at Tsinghua University and Silken Jones at GALCIT of California Institute of Technology for useful discussion and language improvement.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China91541206
National Natural Science Foundation of China21761142012
National Natural Science Foundation of China51706121
Subject Keywords:Methanol; Rapid compression machine; Ignition regimes; Auto-ignition; Detonation
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191007-140248538
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Yingdi Wang, Yunliang Qi, Wei Liu, Zhi Wang, Investigation of methanol ignition phenomena using a rapid compression machine, Combustion and Flame, Volume 211, 2020, Pages 147-157, ISSN 0010-2180, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99119
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Oct 2019 22:26
Last Modified:07 Oct 2019 22:26

Repository Staff Only: item control page