Abstract

Hydrodynamic and diffusional-thermal instabilities affect the flame dynamics, which result in non-planar flame fronts with self-accelerating cellularities and wrinkles. In premixed flames, the driving mechanism for perturbations is hydrodynamic instabilities, which are associated with thermal expansion. Under high-pressure conditions, such as in spark-ignition engines, the flame curvature and morphology might be influenced by the hydrodynamic instabilities. This study focuses on the replacement of nitrogen with a noble gas (argon and krypton) as the working fluid in the premixed combustion of methane to investigate its effect on flame stability and dynamics. The utilization of noble gases can also enhance the ideal thermal efficiency of internal combustion engines due to the higher specific heat ratio they possess and may also reduce the NOx emissions markedly because of the lack of nitrogen in the working fluid. The experiments are conducted for various equivalence ratios (φ = 0.8, 1.0, 1.2) in a constant volume combustion chamber (CVCC) at atmospheric and elevated initial pressures and atmospheric temperature. As an outcome of this study, to understand the influence of krypton on methane combustion, spherically propagating flames are analyzed in terms of the laminar flame burning velocity, cellular instability, unburned gas Markstein length, and flame morphology utilizing a Z-type Schlieren optical diagnostic technique and fractal analysis, which is a promising approach to analyze flame surfaces. The fractal dimension of the flame fronts is calculated by a box-counting algorithm. The results are compared against the previously examined case studies in which argon was used as the primary working fluid.

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