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Dilution and Suppression of Partially Premixed Flames in Normal and Microgravity for Different Fuels

[+] Author Affiliations
Andrew J. Lock, Alejandro Briones, Suresh K. Aggarwal

University of Illinois at Chicago

Ishwar K. Puri

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Uday G. Hegde

NASA Glenn Research Center

Paper No. IMECE2006-14641, pp. 41-49; 9 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Volume 2
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4785-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The suppression of fires and flames is an important area of interest for both terrestrial and space based applications. In this investigation we elucidate the relative efficacy of fuel and air stream inert diluents for suppressing laminar partially premixed flames. A comparison of the effects of fuel and air stream dilution are also made with other fuels. Both counterflow and coflow flames are investigated, with both normal and zerogravity conditions considered for coflow flames. Simulations are conducted for both the counterflow and coflow flames, while experimental observations are made on the coflowing flames. With fuel or air stream dilution, coflow flames are observed to move downstream from the burner after overcoming initial heat transfer coupling. Further increases in diluent result in increases in the flame liftoff height until blow off occurs. The flame liftoff height and the critical volume fraction of extinguishing agent at blow out vary with both equivalence ratio and with the stream in which diluents are introduced. Nonpremixed methane-air flames are more difficult to extinguish than partially premixed flames with fuel stream dilution; whereas, partially premixed methane-air flames are more resistant to extinction than nonpremixed flames with air stream dilution. This difference in efficacy of the fuel and air stream dilution is attributed to the action of the diluent. In leaner partially premixed flames with fuel stream dilution and richer partially premixed flames with air stream dilution the effect of the diluent is to replace the deficient reactant in the system, thus starving the flame. In leaner partially premixed flames with air stream dilution and richer partially premixed flames with fuel stream dilution the effect of the diluent is purely thermal in that it absorbs heat from the flame, until combustion may no longer be sustained. The dilution effect is more effective than the thermal effect. When gravity is eliminated from the 2-D flame the liftoff height decreases and the critical volume fraction of diluent for blow off is also decreased.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Fuels , Flames



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