Over the last years, global concerns about energy security and climate change have resulted in many efforts focusing on the potential utilization of non-petroleum-based, i.e. bio-derived, fuels. In this context, n-butanol has recently received high attention because it can be produced sustainably. A comprehensive knowledge about its combustion properties is inevitable to ensure an efficient and smart use of n-butanol if selected as a future energy carrier.
In the present work, two major combustion characteristics, here laminar flame speeds applying the cone-angle method and ignition delay times applying the shock tube technique, have been studied, experimentally and by modeling exploiting detailed chemical kinetic reaction models, at ambient and elevated pressures. The in-house reaction model was constructed applying the RMG-method. A linear transformation method recently developed, linTM, was exploited to generate a reduced reaction model needed for an efficient, comprehensive parametric study of the combustion behavior of n-butanol/hydrocarbon mixtures.
All experimental data were found to agree with the model predictions of the in-house reaction model, for all temperatures, pressures, and fuel-air ratios. On the other hand, calculations using reaction models from the open literature mostly overpredict the measured ignition delay times by about a factor of two. The results are compared to those of ethanol, with ignition delay times very similar and laminar flame speeds of n-butanol slightly lower, at atmospheric pressure.