Three stage cool flame droplet burning behavior of n-alkane droplets at elevated pressure conditions: Hot, warm and cool flame
Published on Jan 1, 2019
· DOI :10.1016/j.proci.2018.09.015
Abstract Transient, isolated n -alkane droplet combustion is simulated at elevated pressure for helium-diluent substituted-air mixtures. We report the presence of unique quasi-steady, three-stage burning behavior of large sphero-symmetric n -alkane droplets at these elevated pressures and helium substituted ambient fractions. Upon initiation of reaction, hot-flame diffusive burning of large droplets is initiated that radiatively extinguishes to establish cool flame burning conditions in nitrogen/oxygen “air” at atmospheric and elevated pressures. However, at elevated pressure and moderate helium substitution for nitrogen ( X He > 20%), the initiated cool flame burning proceeds through two distinct, quasi-steady-state, cool flame burning conditions. The classical “ Hot flame ” (∼1500 K) radiatively extinguishes into a “ Warm flame ” burning mode at a moderate maximum reaction zone temperature (∼ 970 K), followed by a transition to a lower temperature (∼765 K), quasi-steady “ Cool flame ” burning condition. The reaction zone (“flame”) temperatures are associated with distinctly different yields in intermediate reaction products within the reaction zones and surrounding near-field, and the flame-standoff ratios characterizing each burning mode progressively decrease. The presence of all three stages first appears with helium substitution near 20%, and the duration of each stage is observed to be strongly dependent on helium substitutions level between 20–60%. For helium substitution greater than 60%, the hot flame extinction is followed by only the lower temperature cool flame burning mode. In addition to the strong coupling between the diffusive loss of both energy and species and the slowly evolving degenerate branching in the low and negative temperature coefficient (NTC) kinetic regimes, the competition between the low-temperature chain branching and intermediate-temperature chain termination reactions control the “ Warm” and “ Cool ” flame quasi-steady conditions and transitioning dynamics. Experiments onboard the International Space Station with n -dodecane droplets confirm the existence of these combustion characteristics and predictions agree favorably with these observations.