High-pressure combustion of submillimeter-sized nonane droplets in a low convection environment
Abstract An experimental study of droplet combustion of nonane (C 9 H 20 ) at elevated pressures burning in air is reported using low gravity and small droplets to promote spherical gas-phase symmetry at pressures up to 30 atm (absolute). The initial droplet diameters range from 0.57 to 0.63 mm and they were ignited by two electrically heated hot wires positioned horizontally on opposite sides of the droplet. The droplet and flame characteristics were recorded by a 16-mm high-speed movie and a high-resolution video camera, respectively. A photodiode is used to measure broadband gray-body emission from the droplet flames and to track its dependence on pressure. Increasing the pressure significantly influences the ability to make quantitative measurements of droplet, soot cloud, and luminous zone diameters. At pressures as low as 2 atm, soot aggregates surrounding the droplet show significant coagulation and agglomeration and at higher pressures the soot cloud completely obscures the droplet, with the result being that the droplet could not be measured. Above 10 atm radiant emissions from hot soot particles are extensive and the resulting flame luminosity further obscures the droplet. Photographs of the luminous zone in subcritical pressures show qualitatively that increasing pressure produces more soot, and the mean photodiode voltage output increases monotonically with pressure. The maximum flame and soot shell diameters shift to later times as pressure increases and the soot shell is located closer to the flame at higher pressure. The soot shell and flame diameter data are correlated by a functional relationship of reduced pressure derived from scaling the drag and thermophoretic forces on aggregates that consolidates all of the data onto a single curve.