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Catalytic and Non-Catalytic Combustion of Propane in a Meso-Scale Heat Recirculating Combustor

[+] Author Affiliations
Teresa A. Wierzbicki, Ivan C. Lee

U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD

Ashwani K. Gupta

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Paper No. POWER2014-32215, pp. V001T01A013; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/POWER2014-32215
From:
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 1: Fuels and Combustion, Material Handling, Emissions; Steam Generators; Heat Exchangers and Cooling Systems; Turbines, Generators and Auxiliaries; Plant Operations and Maintenance; Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM); Plant Systems, Structures, Components and Materials Issues
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4608-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME

abstract

The results from the observed combustion behavior of propane over platinum and rhodium catalysts in a meso-scale heat recirculating combustor are presented. The extinction limits, conversion, product selectivity/yield, and activation energy using the two catalysts were compared in an effort to determine their performance using a liquid fuel. The extinction limits were also compared to those of non-catalytic combustion in the same reactor. The results showed that the addition of a catalyst greatly expanded the range of stable operating conditions, in respect to both extinction limits and flow rates supported. The Rh catalyst was found to exhibit a higher propane conversion rate, reaching a maximum of 90.4% at stoichiometric conditions (as opposed to the 61.4% offered by the Pt catalyst at lean conditions); however, the Pt catalyst had superior CO2 selectivity for most studied conditions, indicating higher combustion efficiency. The Pt catalyst also had a significantly smaller activation energy (13.8 kJ/mol) than the Rh catalyst (74.7 kJ/mol), except at equivalence ratios richer than Φ = 1.75 (corresponding to catalyst temperatures below 500 °C), where it abruptly changed to 211.4 kJ/mol, signifying a transition from diffusion-limited reactions to kinetically limited reactions at this point. The results reveal that Rh would be a more suitable catalyst for use in a liquid-fueled meso-scale combustor, as fuel conversion has been shown to be a limiting factor for combustion stability in these systems.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME

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