Towards a High-Pressure Microchannel Reactor for Fuel Characterization

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Conference Proceeding

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Abstract Within the area of combustion, externally heated microtubes have been introduced to study the combustion characteristics of fuels and fuel blends. Microreactors have advantages over other conventional fuel testing methods because of their potential to test small volumes (< 20 μl) at high throughput. In this work, a high-pressure microreactor is designed and implemented to test fuels up to a pressure of 20 bar where automated testing reduces test time substantially. The novelty of this device is its capability to operate at pressure exceeding the current state of the art of 12 bar. The combustion behavior of fuels is tested in an externally heated quartz tube, with a diameter less than the conventional quenching diameter of the fuel. The ultimate objective of the experiment is to investigate the impact of fuel on flame characteristics. The ability to reach engine relevant pressure conditions and its inherent small volume requirements make this device a potential candidate for measurements of laboratory transportation fuels and fuel blends. For initial validation, tests from an earlier intermediate pressure experiment with ethane/air and nitrogen mixtures are repeated. Chemiluminescence images are taken to evaluate the combustion characteristics in terms of the three classical flame regimes: weak flames, Flames with Repetitive Extinction, and Ignition (FREI) and normal flames. Previous results at intermediate pressure showed that as the pressure increases, the weak flame and FREI regimes shift towards lower velocities. Also, as dilution level increase (i.e. reducing oxygen concentration), the transition from the weak flame to FREI becomes less abrupt and is completely lost for marginal oxygen concentration. The objective of this study is to document flame dynamics at higher pressures.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

ASME 2021 Power Conference

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