Ignition and Combustion of Heavy Hydrocarbons Using an Aerosol Shock-Tube Approach Conference Paper uri icon


  • Results from a heterogeneous shock-tube approach recently demonstrated at Texas A&M University, wherein a hydrocarbon fuel is introduced in liquid phase with gaseous oxidizer, are presented. The shock tube has been designed for controlled measurement of ignition delay times, sooting phenomena, radical species concentrations, time-dependent species profiles, and nanoparticle-aided combustion using heavy hydrocarbons which are difficult to study using the traditional shock tube approach. Aerosol is generated in a high-vacuum manifold positioned 4-m from the endwall where optical and pressure-based diagnostics are stationed. The approach reduces the propensity for fuel-film deposition near the endwall avoiding optical and/or kinetic disturbances that could result. The aerosol enters the shock tube initially as a two-phase flow of liquid fuel and gaseous oxidizer/inert gas. Liquid droplets partially evaporate while resident in the shock tube, prior to shock wave generation, and are then completely vaporized behind the incident shock wave. Behind the reflected shock wave, then, resides a pure gas-phase fuel and oxidizer mixture. The primary benefit of the aerosol shock tube approach is the ability to inject fuels of low vapor pressure at high or low concentrations. The classic shock-tube approach introduces gas-phase constituents only, and has difficulty accommodating low vapor-pressure liquids, except when component partial pressures are much lower than what is usually required. In the present work, n-heptane aerosol (C7H 16, Pvap, 20 °C ∼ 35 torr), was generated with O2/Ar carrier gas and dispersed in the shock tube in a uniform manner. Stoichiometric ignition delay times with temperature varied from 1240 K to 1600 K and pressure maintained near 2.0 atm are compared to gas-phase data at similar conditions and a chemical kinetic model for heptane combustion. Excellent agreement was found between the two-phase aerosol approach and the classical method involving vapor-phase n-heptane and pre-mixed gases. The measured activation energy for the stoichiometric mixture at 2.0 atm (E A = 42.3 kcal /mol), obtained with the two-phase technique, compares well with the literature value. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rotavera, B., Polley, N., Petersen, E. L., Scheu, K., Crofton, M., & Bourque, G.

citation count

  • 3

publication date

  • October 2010