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  Cornell University

MAE Publications and Papers

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

New article: Combustion Characteristics of Primary Reference Fuel (PRF) Droplets: Single stage high temperature combustion to multistage “Cool Flame” behavior

Article:  Farouk, T. I.; Xu, Y.; Avedisian, C. T.; Dryer, F. L.; “Combustion Characteristics of Primary Reference Fuel (PRF) Droplets: Single stage high temperature combustion to multistage “Cool Flame” behavior”, Proceeding of the Combustion Institute, 36 (2):2585-2594


Abstract:  We report experiments and detailed numerical modeling of mixtures of primary reference fuel (PRF) droplets consisting of n-heptane and iso-octane with initial droplet diameters of 0.5 and 3.51 mm. The results show a quasi-steady, low temperature (or “Cool Flame” (CF)) droplet burning mode that stems from a varying two-stage chemical kinetic behavior of the combustion chemistry. The simulations further illustrate, that the CF droplet burning mode in 1 atm air is dependent upon the iso-octane fraction and droplet size. CF droplet burning is predicted to be absent for large diameter droplets containing more than 50% (by volume) iso-octane (> PRF50), and for all droplet diameters that exhibit hot flame burning without radiative extinction. The model predictions are in agreement with new, large diameter PRF50 experiments reported here, as well as previous ground-based PRF50 sub-millimeter diameter experiments. The effects of PRF mixture fraction are further analyzed numerically. Additional simulations show that replacing small amounts of in-ert (nitrogen) with ozone can sufficiently modify the low temperature kinetic activity of PRF50 droplets to promote CF droplet burning, even for sub-millimeter droplet diameters (with no hot flame transition). The implications are that with proper experimental configurations, CF droplet burning might be studied in ground-based, sub-millimeter diameter, isolated droplet burning experiments. (C) 2016 by The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Funding Acknowledgement:  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) [NNX14AG461A, NNX08AI51G, NNX09AW19A]

Funding Text:  This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through grant numbers NNX14AG461A (TF), NNX08AI51G (YX and CTA) and NNX09AW19A (FLD). Special thanks go to Daniel Dietrich, Vedha Nayagam and Michael Hicks of NASA for their interest in our work and their help with the ISS experiments. The assistance of Meilin Dong, Hee Dae Tak and Do-Hyun Chung of Cornell with the ISS experiments and analysis of some of the video images that resulted is gratefully acknowledged. Conversations with Yu-Cheng Liu of Tsinghua University related to the experimental work are appreciated.

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