Detailed simulation of iron oxide nanoparticle forming flames: Buoyancy and probe effects

J. Sellmann, I. Rahinov, S. Kluge, H. Jünger, A. Fomin, S. Cheskis, C. Schulz, H. Wiggers, A. Kempf, I. Wlokas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanoparticle formation in flames is strongly influenced by the residence-time-temperature history inside the flame. We study how the temperature history can be intentionally modified by orienting flames either in an upward-firing or downward-firing configuration. We also investigate the influence of unintended residence-time modifications caused by sampling nozzles. These phenomena are investigated by experiments and simulations for the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles from premixed iron-pentacarbonyl-doped hydrogen/oxygen flat flames. The experiments apply molecular-beam sampling with a particle mass spectrometer to measure particle sizes and a quartz microbalance to detect the presence of condensed matter. The simulations rely on a finite-rate chemistry approach with species-specific diffusion, particle dynamics are described by a bi-modal population balance model. It is demonstrated that the downward-burning flame forms a detached stagnation point, causing longer residence times at elevated temperature than an upward- or horizontally firing flame, permitting the growth of larger particles. These iron oxide particles are eventually formed in the recombination zone of the flame, but no condensed matter was found in the reaction zone. The experiments also observed the formation of particles in the preheat zone, but their composition and all aspects of their disappearance remain uncertain. Current models do, however, suggest the formation of iron particles and their subsequent evaporation and combustion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1248
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the German Research Foundation (DFG, FOR 2284 ), The Open University of Israel Research Authority (Grant no 47324 ) and the Israel Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources (Grant no. 21511034 ).


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Laminar flames
  • Nanoparticle flame synthesis
  • Population balance modeling


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