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Coupling Heat and Mass Transfer for Hydrogen-Assisted Self-Ignition Behaviors of Propane-Air Mixtures in Catalytic Micro-Channels

Authors: Junjie Chen, Deguang Xu

Abstract:

Transient simulation of the hydrogen-assisted self-ignition of propane-air mixtures were carried out in platinum-coated micro-channels from ambient cold-start conditions, using a two-dimensional model with reduced-order reaction schemes, heat conduction in the solid walls, convection and surface radiation heat transfer. The self-ignition behavior of hydrogen-propane mixed fuel is analyzed and compared with the heated feed case. Simulations indicate that hydrogen can successfully cause self-ignition of propane-air mixtures in catalytic micro-channels with a 0.2 mm gap size, eliminating the need for startup devices. The minimum hydrogen composition for propane self-ignition is found to be in the range of 0.8-2.8% (on a molar basis), and increases with increasing wall thermal conductivity, and decreasing inlet velocity or propane composition. Higher propane-air ratio results in earlier ignition. The ignition characteristics of hydrogen-assisted propane qualitatively resemble the selectively inlet feed preheating mode. Transient response of the mixed hydrogen- propane fuel reveals sequential ignition of propane followed by hydrogen. Front-end propane ignition is observed in all cases. Low wall thermal conductivities cause earlier ignition of the mixed hydrogen-propane fuel, subsequently resulting in low exit temperatures. The transient-state behavior of this micro-scale system is described, and the startup time and minimization of hydrogen usage are discussed.

Keywords: Micro-combustion, Self-ignition, Hydrogen addition, Heat transfer, Catalytic combustion, Transient simulation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1112099

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