Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
30 Apr 1994
30 Apr 1994

Chemistry in plumes of high-flying aircraft with H2 combustion engines: a modelling study

G. Weibring and R. Zellner

Abstract. Recent discussions on high-speed civil transport (HSCT) systems have renewed the interest in the chemistry of supersonic-aircraft plumes. The engines of these aircraft emit large concentrations of radicals like O, H, OH, and NO. In order to study the effect of these species on the composition of the atmosphere, the detailed chemistry of an expanding and cooling plume is examined for different expansion models.

For a representative flight at 26 km the computed trace gas concentrations do not differ significantly for different models of the expansion behaviour. However, it is shown that the distributions predicted by all these models differ significantly from those adopted in conventional meso-scale and global models in which the plume chemistry is not treated in detail. This applies in particular to the reservoir species HONO and H2O2.