Soot measurements in candle flames

M. C. Thomsen, A. Fuentes, R. Demarco, C. Volkwein, J. L. Consalvi, P. Reszka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Soot volume fractions and soot temperatures have been measured for the first time on candle flames. Measurements on laminar steady flames were carried out using candles with wick diameters of 2, 3 and 4 mm. Wick length was varied between 4 and 10 mm. The shape of the candle flame was obtained from CH spontaneous emissions. Measured flame heights show an increase with wick dimensions, approaching an asymptotic value for increasing wick lengths. Soot volume fractions were obtained from laser extinction measurements with the Modulated Absorption/Emission (MAE) technique. A deconvolution technique and a regularization procedure were applied to the data. Radial profiles of soot volume fractions increase when varying the wick dimensions; this effect is produced by the greater amount of fuel released by the wick. Radially integrated soot volume fractions were also calculated, presenting a similar behavior to the soot volume fraction radial profiles. The peak integrated soot volume fraction was found at approximately half the flame height, independent of the wick dimensions and burning rates. Soot temperature was obtained from emission measurements at two different wavelengths considering the attenuation of the soot particles in the optical path length. A deconvolution and regularization procedure was carried out in order to obtain temperature profiles for different heights in the flame. The observed increase in soot production and soot temperature profiles was directly related to the higher burning rate experienced by the candle. The results show that peak integrated soot volume fractions are proportional to both the mass loss rates and the flame heights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • MAE
  • Modulated Absorption/Emission
  • Soot temperature
  • Soot volume fraction
  • Wick effects


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