Existing standards in the field of explosion protection are based to a large extent on empirical knowledge and less on scientific principles. Ignition processes must therefore be better understood. The ignition of explosive gas mixtures by electrical discharges at low energy behaves stochastically, both qualitatively (sometimes the mixture ignites, sometimes not) and quantitatively. The flame propagation is different for each repetition of the experiment.

The influence of the discharge energy was investigated in detail for various gases at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig. Depending on the mixture, the flow induced by the discharge has a small or significant influence on the ignition.

Using laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) measurement technology with up to 50 kHz time resolution, the physics and chemistry of ignition were investigated under these conditions with a laser diagnostic system from LaVision.