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A Method for Determining the Laminar Flame Speed of Jet Fuels Using Combustion Bomb Pressure

[+] Author Affiliations
Andy Yates, Victor Burger

Sasol Advanced Fuels Lab, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Carl Viljoen

Sasol Technology, Sasolburg, Free State, South Africa

Paper No. GT2012-68117, pp. 41-51; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Combustion, Fuels and Emissions, Parts A and B
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, June 11–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4468-7
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper describes the use of a spherical combustion bomb to determine the laminar flame speed and Markstein length of a selection of hydrocarbon fuels. The fuels nominally represented Jet A-1 but some were doped with various component compounds which were chosen so as to vary particular jet fuel specification in relative isolation.

Analyses of this kind are typically based on optical measurements and, to simplify the analysis, an approximation of constant pressure is usually achieved by limiting the useable data to the early stages of flame propagation only. The analysis methodology presented in this paper differs inasmuch that calculations were based solely on the recorded pressure data. Moreover, by deducing the response of the flame speed to pressure and temperature, it was possible to utilize the whole combustion pressure record which significantly increased the volume of useful data that could be obtained from each experiment. Other practical difficulties that are often encountered such as flame winkling at large diameters, especially with rich mixtures, were minimized by using a small bomb of only 100mm diameter. The method of analysis via the pressure trace rendered any flame winkling easily discernable wherefrom it could be easily eliminated.

For each fuel, at least six repeat combustion pressure records (about 90 data points each) were obtained for each of six different air-fuel ratios spanning the range from lean to rich and the whole sequence was repeated at a higher initial temperature. This provided a database of over 6000 individual calculations of laminar flame speed from which the relevant parameter coefficients were obtained by means of a regression technique. It was found that the effects of changing the blend composition could be discerned in the various laminar flame speed results and that significant variation in laminar flame speed could possibly be “tailored” into a synthetic jet fuel formulation.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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