Campus Units

Chemical and Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Ames Laboratory

Document Type


Research Focus Area

Computational Fluid Dynamics

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Physics of Fluids





First Page





The conditional velocity time averages (⟨Ui|ξ⟩) and conditional mixture fraction time averages (⟨Φ|ωi⟩) were computed based on the Eulerian approach from the experimental data measured in a macroscale multi-inlet vortex chemical reactor. The conditioning events were determined by equally sized intervals of the sample space variable for the mixture fraction (ξ) and the velocity vector (ωi). The experimental data, which consisted of instantaneous velocities and concentration fields for two Reynolds numbers (Re = 3250 and 8125), were acquired using the simultaneous stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (stereo-PIV) and planar laser induced fluorescence techniques. Two mathematical models, the linear approximation and probability density function (PDF) gradient diffusion, were validated by experimental results. The results of the velocity conditioned on the mixture fraction demonstrated that the linear model works well in a low turbulence region away from the reactor center. Near the reactor center, high velocity gradients coupled with low concentration gradients reduce the accuracy of the linear model predictions. Nevertheless, an excellent agreement was found for the conditional events within ±2Φrms (mixture fraction root mean square). Due to lower concentration gradient in the tangential direction, the linear model better predicted the tangential velocity component for all locations investigated. The PDF model with an isotropic turbulent diffusivity performed inadequately for the tangential and axial velocity components. A modified version of the PDF model that considers the three components of the turbulent diffusivity produced a better agreement with the experimental data especially in the spiral arms regions of significant concentration gradients. Furthermore, the mixture fraction conditioned on the velocity vector components showed a more linear behavior near the reactor center, where the PDF of the mixture fraction is a Gaussian distribution. As the concentration gradients became prominent away from the reactor, ⟨Φ|ωi⟩ also deviated from the linear pattern. This was especially remarkable for the mixture fraction conditioned on the tangential velocity. The overall prediction of ⟨Φ|ωi⟩ improves at higher Reynolds number as the fluid mixing is enhanced.


This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in Hitimana, Emmanuel, Rodney O. Fox, James C. Hill, and Michael G. Olsen. "Eulerian conditional statistics of turbulent flow in a macroscale multi-inlet vortex chemical reactor." Physics of Fluids 31, no. 11 (2019): 115106 and may be found at DOI: 10.1063/1.5120766. Posted with permission.

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Available for download on Wednesday, November 11, 2020