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Preprint / Version 1

Effect of Products of Catalytic Oxidative Coupling on the Laminar Burning Velocity of Methane




Methane (CH4) can be converted to higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, including ethylene and ethane, by a process known as the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM). From a combustion perspective, the inclusion of C2 species dramatically affects several fundamental characteristics including flame thickness, ignition properties, instability formation, and front propagation. From a practical perspective, the inclusion of ethane (C2H6) and ethylene (C2H4) could enable the use of methane, the primary component of natural gas, in previously inaccessible engine-operation regimes. This study expands on previous experimental and computational work investigating the laminar burning velocity of binary blends of C2 species with methane by observing spherically expanding flames of tertiary mixtures in a constant volume combustion chamber (CVCC). Furthermore, a computational approach is employed to extend the analysis of ethane-ethylene-methane blends into a wider compositional space and as a means of comparing existing reaction mechanisms to the obtained experimental results. Implications with respect to reported OCM products are discussed in relation to engine operating modes.


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