RESEARCH PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Combustion and Fuels

The Effect of Time of Exposure to Elevated Temperatures on the Flammability Limits of Some Common Gaseous Fuels in Air

[+] Author and Article Information
I. Wierzba, B. B. Ale

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, T2N 1N3, Canada

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 121(1), 74-79 (Jan 01, 1999) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2816316 History: Received April 01, 1998; Online November 19, 2007


The flammability limits of methane, ethylene, propane, and hydrogen were experimentally determined at elevated initial mixture temperatures up to 350°C at atmospheric pressure for upward flame propagation in a steel test tube apparatus. The existence of preignition reactions at these levels of temperatures that may influence the value of the flammability limits was also investigated. The fuel-air mixtures were exposed to elevated temperatures over different periods of time before spark ignition (up to 2 h). It was shown that the flammability limits for methane widened approximately linearly with an increase in the initial mixture temperature over the entire range of temperatures tested and were not affected by the length of the exposure time to these temperatures before spark ignition. However, different behaviour was observed for the flammability limits of the other tested fuels—ethylene, propane, and hydrogen. At higher temperatures the flammability limits narrowed and were very significantly affected by the exposure time. The longer was the exposure time of fuel-air mixtures to the elevated temperatures, the narrower were their flammability limits.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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