In non-premixed combustion, fuel and oxidizer enter the reaction zone in distinct streams. This is in contrast to premixed systems, in which reactants are mixed at the molecular level before burning. Examples of non-premixed combustion include pulverized coal furnaces, diesel internal-combustion engines and pool fires.
Under certain assumptions, the thermochemistry can be reduced to a single parameter: the mixture fraction. The mixture fraction, denoted by , is the mass fraction that originated from the fuel stream. In other words, it is the local mass fraction of burnt and unburnt fuel stream elements (C, H, etc.) in all the species (CO , H O, O , etc.). The approach is elegant because atomic elements are conserved in chemical reactions. In turn, the mixture fraction is a conserved scalar quantity, and therefore its governing transport equation does not have a source term. Combustion is simplified to a mixing problem, and the difficulties associated with closing non-linear mean reaction rates are avoided. Once mixed, the chemistry can be modeled as being in chemical equilibrium with the Equilibrium model, being near chemical equilibrium with the Steady Laminar Flamelet model, or significantly departing from chemical equilibrium with the Unsteady Laminar Flamelet model.
The non-premixed combustion model is presented in the following sections: