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Exergetic Efficiency: A Detailed Reaction Mechanism Analysis of Hydrogen Combustion With Singlet Oxygen

[+] Author Affiliations
DeVon A. Washington

Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Howard N. Shapiro

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Paper No. ES2015-49159, pp. V002T18A005; 7 pages
  • ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2015 Power Conference, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum
  • Volume 2: Photovoltaics; Renewable-Non-Renewable Hybrid Power System; Smart Grid, Micro-Grid Concepts; Energy Storage; Solar Chemistry; Solar Heating and Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Transportation; Symposium on Integrated/Sustainable Building Equipment and Systems; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 28–July 2, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5685-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


In previous work the authors have demonstrated that when hydrogen is combusted in stoichiometric proportions at 1 atm and 1200 K, and singlet oxygen comprises 0–20% of the oxidizer, an optimal range of exergetic efficiency exists. The maximum exergetic efficiency occurs at approximately 10%. Over this range, roughly 60% of the total exergy destruction occurs prior to ignition. This is a significant result because it suggests that the exergetic efficiency of combustion might be improved at a fundamental level by chemical means, thereby inherently increasing the efficiency of fuel use for a desired energy application.

The objective of the study presented in this paper is to analyze the reaction mechanisms for combustion with varying percentages of singlet oxygen, to determine which reaction pathways most influence the observed trends in exergy destruction and exergetic efficiency. This was accomplished by performing both sensitivity and rate-of-production analyses of the hydrogen-oxygen combustion mechanism. The results of the analysis show that the presence of singlet oxygen governs the rate of production of hydroxyl and other key radicals. These key radicals directly affect the phenomenological processes associated with chemical induction and thermal induction during ignition. Therefore, the observed optimum exergetic efficiency correlates to the quantity of singlet oxygen in the inlet charge that minimizes exergy destruction by fostering chemical reactions due to radical formation to a greater extent than thermal heat release. The results of this analysis are noteworthy and provide new insight regarding how the exergetic efficiency of combustion may be optimized by introducing singlet oxygen, thereby altering the reaction pathways to enhance energy conversion in a fundamental way that could have important implications for improved fuel use.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Combustion , Hydrogen , Oxygen



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