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COSMIC: Carbon Monoxide and Soot in Microgravity Inverse Combustion

  • Author(s): Mikofski, Mark A
  • Blevins, Linda G
  • Davis, Ronald W
  • Moore, Elizabeth F
  • Mulholland, George W
  • et al.
Abstract

Almost seventy percent of fire related deaths are caused by the inhalation of toxins such as CO and soot that are produced when fires become underventilated.(1) Although studies have established the importance of CO formation during underventilated burning,(2) the formation processes of CO (and soot) in underventilated fires are not well understood. The goal of the COSMIC project is to study the formation processes of CO and soot in underventilated flames. A potential way to study CO and soot production in underventilated flames is the use of inverse diffusion flames (IDFs). An IDF forms between a central air jet and a surrounding fuel jet. IDFs are related to underventilated flames because they may allow CO and soot to escape unoxidized. Experiments and numerical simulations of laminar IDFs of CH4 and C2H4 were conducted in 1-g and µ-g to study CO and soot formation. Laminar flames were studied because turbulent models of underventilated fires are uncertain. Microgravity was used to alter CO and soot pathways. A IDF literature survey, providing background and establishing motivation for this research, was presented at the 5th IWMC.(3) Experimental results from 1-g C2H4 IDFs and comparisons with simulations, demonstrating similarities between IDFs and underventilated fires, were presented at the 6th IWMC.(4) This paper will present experimental results from µ-g and 1-g IDFs of CH4 and C2H4 as well as comparisons with simulations, further supporting the relation between IDFs and underventilated flames.

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