Study on combustion and ignition characteristics of natural gas components in a micro flow reactor with a controlled temperature profile

Taiki Kamada, Hisashi Nakamura, Takuya Tezuka, Susumu Hasegawa, Kaoru Maruta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Combustion and ignition characteristics of natural gas components such as methane, ethane, propane and n-butane were investigated experimentally and computationally using a micro flow reactor with a controlled temperature profile. Special attention was paid to weak flames which were observed in a low flow velocity region. The observed weak flame responses for the above fuels were successfully simulated by one-dimensional computations with a detailed kinetic model for natural gas. Since the position of the weak flame indicates the ignition characteristics as well as the reactivity of each fuel, the experimental and computational results were compared with research octane number (RON) which is a general index for ignition characteristics of ordinary fuels. At 1atm, ethane showed the highest reactivity among these fuels, although RON of ethane (115) is between those of methane (120) and propane (112). Since the pressure conditions are different between the present experiment and the general RON test, weak flame responses to the pressure were investigated computationally for these fuels. The order of the fuel reactivity by the reactor agreed with that by RON test when the pressure was higher than 4atm. Reaction path analysis was carried out to clarify the reasons of the highest reactivity of ethane at 1atm among the employed fuels in this study. The analysis revealed that C2H5+O2⇔C2H4+HO2 is a key reaction and promotes ethane oxidation at 1atm. The effect of the pressure on the fuel oxidation process in the present reactor was also clarified by the analysis. In addition, weak flame responses to various mixing ratios of methane/n-butane blends were investigated experimentally and computationally. The results indicated a significant effect of n-butane addition in the blends on combustion and ignition characteristics of the blended fuels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalCombustion and Flame
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan

Keywords

  • Micro flow reactor
  • Micro-combustion
  • Natural gas
  • Weak flame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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