An exploration of microcombustor feasibility Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1r66j327s

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  • The goals of this research were first to examine flame quenching in tubing smaller than the quench diameter, and then to place lower size limits on microcombustor and microreactor systems by studying a catalytic microcombustor burning propane. In the first set of experiments, flame quenching was examined as a function of wall temperature for various hydrocarbon fuels. This was accomplished by creating a wall temperature profile along a tube, allowing a flame to propagate down the tube, and measuring the temperature of the tube wall coincident with the flame front. This wall quench temperature was plotted as a function of both the equivalence ratio and tube diameter. Fuels tested included propane, hexane, kerosene and diesel. Results showed that quench diameter was reduced by elevating the wall temperature and that the quench temperature increased for increasing mixture flow velocities. Flames were produced in tubes down to 0.8 mm in diameter. In the second set of experiments, a catalyst was used in combination with fuel preheating to obtain a self-sustaining combustion reaction in a chamber approximately 0.25 mm³ in size. Propane was used in this experiment. Results demonstrated that a stable self-sustaining reaction can be obtained in the microscale regime and that reaction temperatures are on the order of 900°C. This research not only aided in the characterization of hydrocarbon combustion in small diameter channels but also showed promise for development of microcombustor systems.
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