Research Papers: Combustion and Reactive Flows

An Experimental Study of the Effects of Platinum on Methane/Air and Propane/Air Mixtures in a Stagnation Point Flow Reactor

[+] Author and Article Information
James T. Wiswall, Margaret S. Wooldridge, Hong G. Im

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2350 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

J. Heat Transfer 131(11), 111201 (Aug 25, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3156788 History: Received November 20, 2008; Revised April 02, 2009; Published August 25, 2009

A stagnation-flow burner facility was used to study the catalytic surface reactions of premixed combustion systems at atmospheric pressure. The configuration serves as an important platform to investigate the interaction between homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions with independent control of the characteristic chemical and physical residence time scales. Methane/oxygen/nitrogen and propane/oxygen/nitrogen mixtures were examined with and without the presence of a platinum catalyst located at the stagnation surface. The effects of oxidizer composition and nitrogen dilution were investigated. Lean flame extinction limits were determined for the two fuels and were found to be unaffected by the presence of the catalytic surface. The flame extinction data indicated that the systems were controlled by gas phase combustion with negligible contributions from heterogeneous reactions. The catalytic activity of the heated surface in response to the direct impingement of fuel/air mixtures onto the stagnation surface, without the presence of a flame, was quantified by the increase in the surface temperature. The methane/air mixtures demonstrated no catalytic activity for these conditions, whereas propane/air mixtures demonstrated temperature increases of over 100 K. The data indicate that the surface reaction was transport limited for the propane/air system.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of the stagnation-point-flow reactor configuration

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Figure 2

Schematic showing gas flow measurement, control, and important reactor dimensions

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Figure 3

Dimensions of stagnation plane and support

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Figure 4

Typical methane and propane stagnation-flow flames

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Figure 5

Lean extinction limits of CH4 flames as a function of the nozzle exit velocity for fixed dilution level

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Figure 6

Lean extinction limits for CH4 flames as a function of dilution for fixed levels of stretch

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Figure 7

Lean extinction limits for C3H8 flames as a function of the nozzle exit velocity for fixed dilution level

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Figure 8

Comparison between the C3H8 extinction limits as a function of the nozzle exit velocity measured in the present study and the results of Law (9)

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Figure 9

Typical temperature evolution in time for unburned propane air mixture impinging on the heated stagnation surface (ϕ=1.8 and vave=0.92 m/s)

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Figure 10

Catalytic response, ΔTs, of heated Pt surface to C3H8/air mixture as a function of surface heating (Ts0) for various equivalence ratios. The average nozzle exit velocity was 0.92 m/s.

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Figure 11

Comparison between the Pt catalyst response to C3H8/air mixtures of the current work to Veser and Schmidt (6)



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