Combustion Theory and Modelling, 16, pp. 387-418, (2012)
Chemical kinetics, Integration, Krylov subspace methods, Exponential methods, Large stiff nonlinear systems, Model reduction
Recent trends in hydrocarbon fuel research indicate that the number of species and reactions in chemical kinetic mechanisms is rapidly increasing in an effort to provide predictive capabilities for fuels of practical interest. In order to cope with the computational cost associated with the time integration of stiff, large chemical systems, a novel approach is proposed. The approach combines an exponential integrator and Krylov subspace approximations to the exponential function of the Jacobian matrix. The components of the approach are described in detail and applied to the ignition of stoichiometric methane–air and iso-octane–air mixtures, here described by two widely adopted chemical kinetic mechanisms. The approach is found to be robust even at relatively large time steps and the global error displays a nominal third-order convergence. The performance of the approach is improved by utilising an adaptive algorithm for the selection of the Krylov subspace size, which guarantees an approximation to the matrix exponential within user-defined error tolerance. The Krylov projection of the Jacobian matrix onto a low-dimensional space is interpreted as a local model reduction with a well-defined error control strategy. Finally, the performance of the approach is discussed with regard to the optimal selection of the parameters governing the accuracy of its individual components.