Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


The impacts of ionization chemistry on hydrocarbon detonation Public Deposited

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  • As carbon emissions are negatively impacting ecosystems across the globe, researchers are in a race against time to provide cleaner and more eÿcient power. Detonation engines can help meet the increasing demands for cleaner and more eÿcient power generation by providing an alternative means to use oxy-fuel combustion for carbon sequestration. By pairing a detonation engine with a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator, power can be directly extracted from the ionized gases behind the detonation front via the Lorentz force. This eliminates the moving components found in gas turbine engines, which are unable to withstand high temperatures encountered in oxy-fuel combustion. The electrical conductivity of the ionized gas behind the detonation front can be increased by several orders of magnitude with the addition of readily ionizing seed particles such as potassium, increasing the power generation of the engine. However, this increase has a limit as dilution studies have shown decreases in detonation speeds with increasing diluent. To better understand the interaction of seed particles with the detonation front and the electrical conductivity of the mixed gas, a detailed hydrocarbon kinetic model has been created in conjunction with a detonation solver. This model is, to my knowledge, the first detailed hydrocarbon model to be used in detonation simulations. I used this model to study the parasitic interaction arising from using potassium seed material. I found that the ionization of the seed particles negatively impacted detonation velocities up to 8% and power production up to 15%, pointing to the need for further research development into detonation kinetic models and ionization fields.
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