The precessing vortex core is a helically-shaped coherent flow structure that occurs in reacting and non-reacting swirling flows undergoing vortex breakdown. In swirl-stabilized combustors, this flow structure affects important phenomena, such as turbulent mixing and thermoacoustic oscillations. In this work, a flow control system is developed to achieve appropriate conditions to systematically investigate the influence of the PVC on turbulent flames. The control consists of a zero-net-mass-flux actuator placed in the mixing section of the combustor, where the PVC is most receptive to periodic forcing. The actuator is driven in a closed loop to achieve phase-opposition control of the PVC. The flow control system is characterized from pressure measurements and particle image velocimetry and the impact on flame dynamics is extracted from OH*-chemiluminescence measurements. The data reveal that the PVC amplitude is considerably suppressed by the phase-opposition control without changing the overall characteristics of flow and flame. This is a very important requirement to study the exclusive effect of the PVC on combustion processes. Moreover, the control allows the PVC amplitude to be adjusted gradually to investigate the PVC impact on turbulent mixing and flame dynamics. It is revealed that the PVC-induced flow fluctuations mainly affect the large-scale mixing, while the small scale mixing remains unchanged. This is because the suppression of the PVC allows other modes to become more dominant and the overall turbulent kinetic energy budget remains unchanged. The destabilization of other modes, such as the axisymmetric mode, may have some implications on thermoacoustic instability.

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