Numerical studies of the impact of non-thermal plasma on laminar premixed flames

Nanosecond Repetitively Pulsed (NRP) discharges are a promising and efficient technique for plasma-assisted combustion applications. In fact, they have been successfully used to initiate and control combustion processes particularly when conventional ignition systems are rather ineffective or too energy costly. Also, they have been used to enhance the lean blow-off limit, or control combustion instabilities. Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) are a powerful research tool to understand these plasma/combustion/flow interactions. However, the computational cost of fully coupled detailed non-equilibrium plasma and combustion chemistry is prohibitive. In this work, a phenomenological model to describe the effects of non-equilibrium plasma discharges is developed. This model enables the description of the plasma channel as an energy source, considering the most important phenomena occurring when NRP is applied for plasma-assisted combustion. Two phenomena were modeled: 1) the excitation and the subsequent relaxation of the electronic states of nitrogen molecules, which leads to an ultrafast increase of the gas temperature and dissociation of species; and 2) the excitation and relaxation of vibrational states of nitrogen molecules, which causes a much slower gas heating