In situ investigation of laser-induced ignition and the early stages of methane-air combustion at high pressures using a rapidly tuned diode laser at 2.55 microm

Maximilian Lackner, Christian Forsich, Franz Winter, Herbert Kopecek, Ernst Wintner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The laser-induced ignition of methane/air-mixtures at elevated pressures was investigated by an absorption spectroscopic technique. A room temperature continuous wave InGaAsSb/AlGaAsSb quantum well ridge diode laser was wavelength tuned around 2.55 mum by periodically modulating the injection current from 0 to 174 mA at a 5 kHz repetition rate. The laser heat sink temperature was fixed at 291 K. The infrared laser beam was sent through the pressurized combustion vessel perpendicularly to the igniting laser beam (Nd:YAG laser, 10 ns pulse duration, 20 mJ) at the position of the ignition spark. Fuel-rich to fuel-lean mixtures of methane/air (air equivalence ratio 0.89, 1.06, 1.42, 2.50) were investigated at initial pressures of up to 3 MPa. The initial temperature was 473 K, the volume of the combustion vessel 0.9x10(-3) m(3). The formation of water vapor in the vicinity of the laser spark was tracked by the diode laser. The time resolution of the measurements was 0.2 ms for a total continuous measurement time of up to 1 s. In this way, the laser-induced ignition and its accompanying effects could be investigated on a time scale spanning four orders of magnitude. Apart from the absorbance of water vapor which could be determined semi-quantitatively (due to the effects of severe pressure broadening at high pressures and the ignorance of the exact temperature distribution after ignition), the emissions from the flame (broadband, 1-10 mum) and a gas inhomogeneity index were recorded. The gas inhomogeneity index was obtained by extracting a frequency variable from the time-dependent fluctuations of the transmitted laser intensities and calculating its derivation. The absorbance of water vapor, the emissions from the flame and the gas inhomogeneity index were found to be a powerful tool to characterize laser-induced ignition. Major implications of in situ species concentration measurements at high pressures for the design and development of high-load combustors are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2997-3018
Number of pages22
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Volume59
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Combustion
  • Diode laser
  • Elevated pressure
  • In situ
  • Laser ignition
  • Water
  • Methane
  • Air
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Pressure
  • Lasers
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Kinetics

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