Advances in high-performance computational capabilities enable scientific simulations with increasingly realistic physical representations. This situation is especially true of turbulent combustion involving multiscale interactions between turbulent flow, complex chemical reaction, and scalar transport. A fundamental understanding of combustion processes is crucial to the development and optimization of next-generation combustion technologies operating with alternative fuels, at higher pressures, and under less stable operating conditions, such as highly dilute, stratified mixtures. Direct numerical simulations (DNS) of turbulent combustion resolving all flow and chemical features in canonical configurations are used to improve fundamental understanding of complex flow processes and to provide a database for the development and validation of combustion models. A description of the DNS solver and its optimization for use in massively parallel simulations is presented. Recent DNS results from a series of three combustion configurations are presented: soot formation and transport in a nonpremixed ethylene jet flame, the effect of fuel stratification in methane Bunsen flames, and extinction and reignition processes in nonpremixed ethylene jet flames
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