The development and application of aerosol shock tube methods for the study of low-vapor-pressure fuels
- This thesis describes a new facility and method of experimentation, which can be used to study the combustion chemistry of low-volatility fuels in the gas phase. Two main goals are described: first, the development of the aerosol shock tube and procedures; and second, a demonstration of its capabilities. There is a lack of high-quality, accurate chemical kinetics data for the oxidation of large hydrocarbons, which are important for modeling diesel, rocket, or jet engines among other combustion systems. While conventional shock tubes are very effective reactor vessels for low-molecular-weight gaseous fuels (n-alkanes up to five carbon atoms), larger fuel molecules exist as low-volatility liquids/solids, and the vapor-pressures of these fuels are not large enough for high or even moderate fuel loadings. Heating the shock tube has extended the use of shock tubes to carbon numbers of 10 to 12, but beyond that, the high temperatures prior to the shock initiation can decompose the fuel, and (for fuel mixtures like diesel) can cause fractional distillation. The question is then: how can we study low-vapor-pressure fuels in a shock tube? The solution presented here, which avoids the problems associated with heating, is called the aerosol shock tube. In the aerosol shock tube, the fuel is injected as an aerosol of micron-size droplets. Then a series of shock waves first evaporate the fuel and subsequently raise the resultant purely gas-phase mixture to combustion-relevant temperatures. With proper selection of the shock strength and timing, this process effectively decouples the mass and heat transfer processes associated with evaporation from the chemical mechanism of combustion. This enables the study of extremely low-volatility fuels, never before studied in a purely gas-phase form in a shock tube. The first application of this new facility was to measure the ignition delay time for many previously inaccessible fuels in the gas-phase. In this thesis, we have measured ignition delay times for the pure surrogate fuel components n-decane, n-dodecane, n-hexadecane, and methyl decanoate as well as for multi-component fuels such as JP-7 and multiple different blends of diesel fuel. Taken over a range of conditions, these measurements provide sensitive validation targets for their respective chemical mechanisms. These data showed agreement with past heated shock tube experiments for fuels in which premature fuel decomposition is not an issue (n-decane and low concentration n-dodecane). However, when comparing heated and aerosol shock tube ignition delay times for fuels that require significant heating, like n-hexadecane, the existing heated shock tube data demonstrated evidence of premature decomposition. The second application to the study of chemical kinetics was to measure the concentration of important species during the decomposition and oxidation of select low-vapor-pressure fuels. These species time-histories provide much more information for kinetic mechanism refinement. Experiments were performed to measure the important OH radical and the stable intermediate C2H4 for both n-hexadecane and diesel. The number of important low-vapor-pressure fuels that require high-quality validation targets is large, and our new method for providing this data has proven very effective. This work enables the development of the next generation of accurate chemical mechanisms and will be essential to their success.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Haylett, Daniel Robert
|Stanford University, Department of Mechanical Engineering
|Bowman, Craig T. (Craig Thomas), 1939-
|Bowman, Craig T. (Craig Thomas), 1939-
|Statement of responsibility
|Daniel Robert Haylett.
|Submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
|Ph.D. Stanford University 2011
- © 2011 by Daniel Robert Haylett
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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