A Method to Measure Flame Index in Turbulent Partially-Premixed Flames.

by David Ari Rosenberg

Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Aerospace Engineering
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Flame Index; PLIF; Turbulent Combustion; Gas Turbine; Partially-Premixed Combustion; Planar Laser-induced Fluorescence; Aerospace Engineering; Engineering
Record ID: 2035372
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/107298


This dissertation describes the development of a diagnostic technique and data processing routine to measure the flame index in partially-premixed flames, called the Flame Index Measurement Method. Many modern combustion applications involve conditions in which the fuel and oxidizer are only partially mixed prior to entering the flame. These partially-premixed flames contain some regions of premixed and some regions of non-premixed flamelets. New computational approaches use the flame index concept: premixed regions are identified and a premixed model is applied; non-premixed regions are also identified and a non-premixed model is applied. The flame index is defined as the normalized dot product of the gradients of the fuel and oxidizer mass fractions; it is +1 in premixed flamelets and is -1 in non-premixed flamelets. Previously there had been no experimentally measured values of flame index available to assess the modeling approaches. A new method has been developed to measure the flame index using planar laser-induced fluorescence tracers to indicate the sign and direction of the fuel and oxygen gradients. Through the modeling of premixed and non-premixed flamelets, acetone was selected as a fuel tracer and nitrogen dioxide was selected as an oxygen tracer. The fluorescence properties of both acetone and nitrogen dioxide were studied. With acetone seeded into the fuel, and nitrogen dioxide seeded into the air, the Flame Index Measurement Method was evaluated in laminar premixed and non-premixed methane/acetone/air flames, as well as in a well-defined turbulent partially-premixed burner, the Gas Turbine Model Combustor (GTMC). The flame index was measured in the GTMC with methane, propane, and syngas flames. Statistics (mean, variance, and probability mass functions) of the flame index are reported for the highly-turbulent partially-premixed GTMC flames. Two new statistical quantities were developed that describe the probability for the occurrence of premixed flamelets and the degree of partial-premixing. Aspects of the new measurement technique are discussed, including: signal-to-noise ratio, tracer gas seeding levels, data analysis/gradient identification methods, and uncertainty.