Diffuse Back-Illumination Extinction Imaging Of Soot Formation From A Liquid Fuel Film
C. Chen, Y. Li, F. Akagi, Y Hardalupas, A. M. K. P. Taylor
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
The transient combustion of a liquid iso-octane film, isolated from the often co-existing combustion of liquid sprays, was investigated within the nominally quiescent ambient of a constant volume chamber using a custom-made liquid fuel film generation system. Soot formation throughout the combustion process, from ignition to extinction, was visualized using high-speed diffuse back-illumination extinction imaging technique, providing temporally resolved spatial distribution of soot optical thickness (KL) in the chamber. The impact of ambient pressure and ambient oxygen content on soot formation was examined over a range of 2 – 5 bar (absolute) and 16 – 30% (in terms of molar fraction of oxygen), respectively. Regardless of the test conditions, the fuel film combustion entailed three stages, namely flame initiation, steady burning and flame extinction. While the ambient oxygen content was kept constant, the flame gradually became turbulent-like and the flame flickering less distinct as ambient pressure was increased. The total amount of soot generated within the chamber was found to first increase then decrease with the ambient pressure, due to the competing impacts of increasing pressure on promoting soot-formation reaction rate and enhancing mixing of fuel vapour with the entrained air. Increasing ambient oxygen content, on the other hand, consistently enhanced soot formation, which may be associated with its impact on boosting flame temperature and consequently liquid fuel evaporation rate. In addition, flame flickering remained distinct for ambient oxygen content above atmospheric level, while becoming substantially less observable for that below atmospheric level. Flickering frequency, for all test conditions with distinct flame flickering, had a value of approximately 10 Hz and gradually increased with time during the steady burning stage, suggesting the shrinkage of the fuel film diameter. Flickering of the flame resulted in fluctuations in the total amount of soot presented in the combustion chamber. The power of this fluctuation varied with time, and this temporal variation of fluctuation power also depended on experimental conditions, due to its dependency on the combined effects of soot concentration and volume of the flame.