Ignition of lean hydrogen-air mixtures

M. R. Swain, P. A. Filoso, M. N. Swain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A series of tests were conducted to investigate how difficult lean hydrogen-air mixtures (4-10% hydrogen concentration) are to ignite. The commonly reported lean limit of combustion for hydrogen is 4.0%. The tests that were used to determine this assumed a quiescent hydrogen-air mixture and no upper limit on ignition energy or gap size for ignition. In this work, ignition tests were conducted with: (1) quiescent hydrogen-air mixtures and ignition arc lengths up to 3.2 mm (0.126 in), (2) mixtures in motion and arc lengths up to 1.5 mm (0.060 in), and (3) low-velocity mixtures with common electrical appliances as ignition sources. This work showed that the probability of igniting lean hydrogen-air mixtures is strongly affected by the ignition source, where successful ignition was a strong function of arc length and a weaker function of gas velocity and ignition energy. The tests were conducted at 26-27°C (78-80°F).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1455
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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