Reduced mechanisms, Premixed flames, CF3Br, Halon 1301


Halon 1301 (CF3Br), or bromotrifluoromethane, had been widely used as fire-extinguishing agent for many years before its production and consumption were severely regulated by the Montreal Protocol due to its hazardous depletion effect to the stratospheric ozone layer. It is therefore imperative to find an effective replacement fire-fighting agent before the mandated deadline of the complete phase out of CF3Br. Currently there are intensive efforts in searching for an environmentally acceptable fire suppression replacement. This, however, is hampered by a lack of fundamental understanding of how CF3Br suppresses the chemical reactions in a flame environment so effectively. Recent experimental evidence has shown that the addition of CF3Br significantly reduced the burning velocity of premixed H2/Air flames by depleting the important radical species that are important to sustain chemical reactions. Extending this finding to understand the suppression of more complicated diffusion flames and unsteady three dimension turbulent flames in the presence of Halon 1301, however, still faces enormous challenge because of the prohibitive requirement of the computational power. The present chemical reaction mechanism for even the simplest hydrocarbon fuel (CH4) combustion involves more than 300 elemental reactions and the addition of CF3Br adds approximately 70 more elemental reactions. This large number of reactions and the associated large number of reaction species, many of which still involve uncertain reaction coefficients and thermodynamics properties, present significant computing challenges for applications in multidimensional non-premixed flames that are often encountered in practice. Therefore, it is of interest to systematically reduce the full chemical mechanism to a few global reactions while still maintaining the accuracy of the original mechanism. The present research systematically reduced the complex H2/Air/CF3Br chemical reaction mechanism with 94 initial elemental reactions to 5 global reaction steps. The reduced mechanism results in dramatic savings in computer time and is capable of predicting the major species and important steady state species with high accuracy. Through detailed sensitivity and production rate analysis the present research was able to find the key elemental reactions that are responsible for the fire suppression behavior of CF3Br. Predicted maximum concentrations of H and OH were found to correlate closely with the existing laminar burning velocity data measured for the premixed H2/Air/CF3Br flames. Better agreement with the experimental data was found when two activation energies for the two most important elementary reactions from QRRK calculations were adopted. The reduced mechanism developed through this research can be used to assist in the calculation and the understanding of fire suppression of CF3Br for more practical multidimensional nonpremixed laminar and turbulent flames, and the effort in searching for other effective fire suppressing agents.


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Graduation Date





Xu, Fang


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Aerospace Engineering








Release Date

December 2004

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)