Reduction of nitric oxides (NOx) in aircraft engines and in gas turbines by lean combustion is of great interest in the design of novel combustion systems. However, the stabilization of the flame under lean conditions is a main issue. In this context, the present work investigates the effects of sinusoidal dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) on a lean inverse diffusive methane/air flame in a Bunsen-type burner under different actuation conditions. The flame appearance was investigated with fixed methane loading (mass flux), but with varying inner airflow rate. High-speed flame imaging was done by using an intensified (charge-coupled device) CCD camera equipped with different optical filters in order to selectively record signals from the chemiluminescent species OH*, CH*, or CO2* to evaluate the flame behavior in presence of plasma actuation. The electrical power consumption was less than 33 W. It was evident that the plasma flame enhancement was significantly influenced by the plasma discharges, particularly at high inner airflow rates. The flame structure changes drastically when the dissipated plasma power increases. The flame area decreases due to the enhancement of mixing and chemical reactions that lead to a more anchored flame on the quartz exit with a reduction of the flame length.
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