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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions

Laminar Flame Speed Measurements and Modeling of Pure Alkanes and Alkane Blends at Elevated Pressures

[+] Author and Article Information
William Lowry, Jaap de Vries, Michael Krejci, Eric Petersen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

Zeynep Serinyel, Wayne Metcalfe, Henry Curran

Combustion Chemistry Centre and School of Chemistry, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland

Gilles Bourque

 Rolls-Royce Canada, Montreal, H9P 1A5, Canada

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(9), 091501 (Apr 14, 2011) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002809 History: Received May 27, 2010; Revised June 07, 2010; Published April 14, 2011; Online April 14, 2011

Alkanes such as methane, ethane, and propane make up a large portion of most natural gas fuels. Natural gas is the primary fuel used in industrial gas turbines for power generation. Because of this, a fundamental understanding of the physical characteristics such as the laminar flame speed is necessary. Most importantly, this information is needed at elevated pressures to have the most relevance to the gas turbine industry for engine design. This study includes experiments performed at elevated pressures, up to 10 atm initial pressure, and investigates the fuels in a pure form as well as in binary blends. Flame speed modeling was done using an improved version of the kinetics model that the authors have been developing over the past few years. Modeling was performed for a wide range of conditions, including elevated pressures. Experimental conditions include pure methane, pure ethane, 80/20 mixtures of methane/ethane, and 60/40 mixtures of methane/ethane at initial pressures of 1 atm, 5 atm, and 10 atm. Also included in this study are pure propane and 80/20 methane/propane mixtures at 1 atm and 5 atm. The laminar flame speed and Markstein length measurements were obtained from a high-pressure flame speed facility using a constant-volume vessel. The facility includes optical access, a high-speed camera, a schlieren optical setup, a mixing manifold, and an isolated control room. The experiments were performed at room temperature, and the resulting images were analyzed using linear regression. The experimental and modeling results are presented and compared with previously published data. The data herein agree well with the published data. In addition, a hybrid correlation was created to perform a rigorous uncertainty analysis. This correlation gives the total uncertainty of the experiment with respect to the true value rather than reporting the standard deviation of a repeated experiment. Included in the data set are high-pressure results at conditions where in many cases for the single-component fuels few data existed and for the binary blends no data existed prior to this study. Overall, the agreement between the model and data is excellent.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Mixing manifold for flame speed apparatus

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Figure 2

Flame images for 1 atm (left), 5 atm (middle), and 10 atm (right) stoichiometric 60/40 CH4/C2H6

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Figure 3

Optical setup for high-speed schlieren system

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Figure 4

Plot of residuals characterizing flame acceleration, which appears as the inflection in the curve

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Figure 5

Experimentally obtained ethane correlation compared with ethane data from the present study

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Figure 6

Methane laminar flame speed results: (a) atmospheric methane flame speed compared with other data and the C4 kinetics model and (b) methane flame speed at 1 atm, 5 atm, and 10 atm compared with C4, JetSurF (48), GRI 3.0 (49), and San Diego (50) kinetics models

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Figure 7

Ethane laminar flame speed results: (a) atmospheric ethane flame speed compared with other data and C4 kinetics model and (b) ethane flame speed at 1 atm, 5 atm, and 10 atm compared with the C4, JetSurF (48), GRI 3.0 (49), and San Diego (50) kinetics models

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Figure 8

Propane laminar flame speed results: (a) atmospheric propane flame speed compared with other data and C4 kinetics model and (b) propane flame speed at 1 atm and 5 atm compared with the C4, JetSurF (48), GRI 3.0 (49), and San Diego (50) kinetics models

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Figure 9

Methane/ethane flame speed results compared with models: (a) flame speed data for 1 atm, 5 atm, and 10 atm 60/40 CH4/C2H6 compared with the C4, JetSurF (48), GRI 3.0 (49), and San Diego (50) kinetics models and (b) flame speed data for 1 atm, 5 atm, and 10 atm 80/20 CH4/C2H6 compared with the C4, JetSurF (48), GRI 3.0 (49), and San Diego (50) kinetics models

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Figure 10

Flame speed for 1 atm and 5 atm 80/20 CH4/C3H8 compared with the C4, JetSurF (48), GRI 3.0 (49), and San Diego (50) kinetics models

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Figure 11

Markstein lengths for blends and pressure dependency: (a) Markstein lengths of atmospheric ethane, 60/40 CH4/C2H6, 80/20 CH4/C2H6, and methane, (b) Markstein lengths of atmospheric propane, 80/20 CH4/C3H8, and methane, (c) Markstein lengths of atmospheric methane compared with previous experimental work, and (d) pressure dependency for C2H6, 60/40 CH4/C2H6, 80/20 CH4/C2H6, and CH4.

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