The simulation of soot evolution is a problem of relevance for the development of low-emission aero-engine combustors. Apart from detailed CFD approaches, it is important to also develop models with modest computational cost so a large number of geometries can be explored, especially in view of the need to predict engine-out soot particle size distributions (PSDs) to meet future regulations. This paper presents an approach based on Incompletely Stirred Reactor Network (ISRN) modeling that simplifies calculations, allowing for the use of very complex chemistry and soot models. The method relies on a network of Incompletely Stirred Reactors (ISRs), which are inhomogeneous in terms of mixture fraction but characterized by homogeneous conditional averages, with the conditioning performed on the mixture fraction. The ISRN approach is demonstrated here for a single sector lean-burn model combustor operating on Jet-A1 fuel in pilot-only mode, for which detailed CFD and experimental data are available. Results show that reasonable accuracy is obtained at a significantly reduced computational cost. Real fuel chemistry and a detailed physicochemical sectional soot model are consequently employed to investigate the sensitivity of ISRN predictions to the chemical mechanism chosen and to provide an estimate of the soot particle size distribution at the combustor exit.

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