This chapter describes the chemical reactions occurring in high temperature gas flows from a macroscopic point of view. In equilibrium conditions, the law of mass action is established and examples are given, first for a single reaction (dissociation) and then for reactive gas mixtures. An application to the computation of flow quantities behind a shock wave in diatomic gases is presented. General formulas for reaction rate constants are given in non-equilibrium conditions. The vibrational relaxation is discussed and examples of TV and VV relaxation times are proposed. Typical non-equilibrium flows are examined in detail, such as flow behind a strong shock wave and expanding supersonic flow in a nozzle. Finally, an example of vibrational population evolution behind a straight shock wave is presented, as well as the air chemistry, including the ionisation processes.
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