Slowly varying filtration combustion waves

M. R. Booty, B. J. Matkowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We describe the slow evolution of the wave speed and reaction temperature in a model of filtration combustion. In the counterflow configuration of the process, a porous solid matrix is converted to a porous solid product by injecting an oxidizing gas at high pressure into one end of a fresh sample of the solid while igniting it at the other end. The solid and gas react exothermically at high activation energy and, under favourable conditions, a self-sustaining combustion wave travels along the sample, converting reactants to product. Since the reaction rate depends on the gas pressure p in the pores, small gradients in p cause variations in the conditions of combustion, which, in turn, cause inhomogeneities in the physical properties of the product. We determine the slow evolution of the wave speed, the reaction temperature, and the mass flux of the gas downstream of the reaction zone. In the absence of a pressure gradient, there is a branch of steadily propagating solutions which has a fold. For planar disturbances on the slow time scale, we show that the middle part of the branch is unstable, with the change of stability occurring at the turning points of the branch. When the pressure gradient is nonzero, there are no steadily propagating solutions and the wave continually evolves. Conditions on the state of the gas at the inlet are described such that the variation in the wave speed and reaction temperature throughout the process can be minimized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-224
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Mathematics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


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