Chemical Kinetics of Phosphorous-Containing Compounds Used as Fire Suppressants and Chemical Agent Surrogates
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Compounds containing phosphorus have modern, global ramifications because of their use as promising fire suppressants. The alternate usage of these phosphorous compounds as promising replacements for halon-based fire suppressants provides additional, far-reaching impact and a strong need for sufficient understanding of their chemical behavior. These compounds can also be used as chemical agent simulants to understand more about their behavior in flames. In this research project, the chemistry of phosphorus-based molecules will be studied experimentally. The primary result will be an accurate representation of the important chemical reactions that occur in flames containing these phosphorous compounds. Improved models can then be employed by engineers and scientists. This multidisciplinary project will allow opportunities for the graduate students, postdoctoral researcher, and undergraduate students working on the project to publish and attend conferences in fields in which they might not normally participate. The compounds of interest to this project are phosphorus-based. A major aspect of accurately predicting their combustion behaviors lies in the accuracy of the phosphorus-oxidation kinetics sub-mechanism. Despite their current importance, there are few kinetics data at combustion conditions for these compounds, and the chemical kinetic reaction rate coefficients are not at all well known. This fundamental study will focus on making direct measurements of the reaction rate constants of key reactions in the phosphorus oxidation sub-mechanism. The fundamental chemical kinetics information produced from this work will be one-of-a-kind and will provide results that are much needed for simulating the effects of P-containing compounds in a combustion environment. By using a shock tube to produce the high-temperature conditions (1000 to 2000 K), laser absorption measurements of key intermediate species such as PO2, HOPO, H2O, and HOPO2 will be performed. New spectroscopic information thereon will be obtained, and laser absorption measurements of their concentrations will be performed for the first time in a shock tube. Such measurements will lead to determination of the reaction rates of several important reactions (up to 6) for the first time. The successful completion of this project will greatly advance the predictive capabilities for the combustion behavior of several phosphorus-containing species of practical and topical interest.