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Oxygen Methane Combustion Simulation Towards Pollution Free Solution For Industry and Transportation

by Arni Steingrimsson

A thesis submitted in partial fulllment of the degree of Master of Science

in the Department of Aerospace Engineering

October 2012

Declaration of Authorship
I, AUTHOR NAME, declare that this thesis titled, THESIS TITLE and the work presented in it are my own. I conrm that:

This work was done wholly or mainly while in candidature for a research degree at this University. Where any part of this thesis has previously been submitted for a degree or any other qualication at this University or any other institution, this has been clearly stated. Where I have consulted the published work of others, this is always clearly attributed. Where I have quoted from the work of others, the source is always given. With the exception of such quotations, this thesis is entirely my own work. I have acknowledged all main sources of help. Where the thesis is based on work done by myself jointly with others, I have made clear exactly what was done by others and what I have contributed myself.



Write a funny quote here.

If the quote is taken from someone, their name goes here


Combustion simulation of pure oxygen and pure methane using pulse injection was laid out to investigate the combustion eciency. The combustion system has some great advantages over most common combustors as the fuel is inexpensive and the system can be setup to produce zero emission. Validation of the combustion setup and numerics was done with empirical data from Salgues et al. [1]. Initial results indicate that some improvements are needed in mesh and combustion model.

The acknowledgements and the people to thank go here, dont forget to include your project advisor. . .


Declaration of Authorship Abstract Acknowledgements List of Figures List of Tables Abbreviations Physical Constants Symbols i iii iv vi vii viii ix x

1 Introduction 1.1 The System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2 Combustion Stability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3 Combustion Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 1 3 4

A Appendix Title Here


List of Figures
1.1 1.2 1.3 CES System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bladon Jet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Natural gas prices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 3 3


List of Tables


LAH List Abbreviations Here


Physical Constants
Speed of Light c = 2.997 924 58 108 mss (exact)


a P distance power m W (Js1 )

angular frequency


For/Dedicated to/To my. . .


Chapter 1

In times of depression it can be hard for businesses to justify buying green solutions, which are most of the time more expensive. In stead the business tries to cut back and it is natural to cut convenience before necessity. In the automotive industry the gasoline engine is still the most popular fuel in the US even though Diesel is more ecient and thus greener. Electric cars are getting more popular but they have a short range and are expensive. The purpose of this study is to deliver a very ecient, inexpensive and powerful combustion to be used in pollution free energy system.


The System

One of the most popular examples in many chemistry books, when reaction is being discussed, is to use oxygen and hydrogen or oxygen and methane. 2H2 + O2 2H2 O or CH4 + 2O2 CO2 + 2H2 O When combusting pure oxygen and pure methane the products are water and carbon dioxide. At room temperature the two products are at dierent phases and it is a simple process to separating them. This is the foundation for the pollution free combustion system. Clean Energy Systems, Inc. along with Siemens Power Generation, Inc. and Florida Turbine Technology, Inc. have tested and delivered a pollution free power plant [2]. The heart of the system is the rocket like combustor. The concept can then be expanded to other areas than just power plants, e.g. heavy machinery, ships and even cars as Bladon Jets has demonstrated with their micro turbine in Jaguar Limo [3]. 1

Chapter 1. Chapter Title Here

Oxygen Fuel Oxygen Steam/CO2 Reheat Combustor Elect. Gen.

Combustor Fuel



LPT LP Steam


Condenser Cooling Water

Raw CO2


Condensate To CO2 Compression CO2 Cleanup

Figure 1.1: Pollution free liquid rocket combustor power plant system made by Clean Energy Systems

In this study the combustion chamber design is not like the traditional designs as seen in most gas turbines. The design is much like a liquid rocket engine. In the past most liquid rocket engine studies were focused on liquid oxygen and hydrogen as it has the highest specic impulse [4]. Relatively recent, more emphasis has been gaining for the liquid oxygen and methane studies. Methane has higher specic impulse than kerosene, it is space storable, clean burning and has higher density [5]. Another reason for more LOX/CH4 research attention is to use methane for human exploration of Mars as NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center has been testing LOX/CH4 injectors for [6]. Martin Marietta Corp showed also in 3 months that they could build a Mars In-Situ propellant production unit. The unit would be able to produce methane and water from the Maritian atmosphere [7]. With more research and test for space propulsion and exploration it is hard to ignore the fact that the US has abundance of methane [8]. At last and one of the most important factor is that the price of Methane has been relatively stable and low the past 40 years, see gure 1.3.

Chapter 1. Chapter Title Here

Figure 1.2: Micro turbine made by Bladon Jets are used as range extenders in upcoming Jaguar electric sport vehicles

Figure 1.3: Natural gas wellhead prices history of the past 40 years


Combustion Stability

The liquid oxygen and methane combustion stability or instability are of great importance for combustion chamber design. Rocketdyen performed numerous performance and stability tests for NASA and results showed that many stability issues exist and more research is needed to get full understanding [9]. The Academy of Equipment Command & Technology performed numerical instability study on LOX/CH4 combustors and also compared the combustion instability of LOX/H2. Low frequency instabilities are evident with LOX/CH4 combustion while high frequency instabilities are evident

Chapter 1. Chapter Title Here

with LOX/H2 combustion. Use of bae to control the instabilities does not have an eect on the low frequencies as it does for the high frequencies in the LOX/H2 combustion. Extending the combustion chamber has most dampening eect on the low frequency [10]. Experimental and numerical study of combustion instability of LOX/H2 and LOX/HCH4 were performed by the Institute of Command & Technology and the National University of Defense Technology. Numerical models compare well with experiments. The results show that increasing the velocity ratio suppress the instability. Optimum bae ratio is noticed but dier for the methane and hydrogen. Mass ow rate to chamber pressure ratio seems to inuence the combustion instability in a rectangular LOX/CH4 chamber as noted by [11] and injection of nitrogen ow increases the pressure amplitude [12].


Combustion Models

In numerical analysis of combustion a good compromise between cost and accuracy can be a key. Assumption of no droplets existing in truly supercritical environment using dense gas proved successful for [13]. LES turbulence model was used to compute the LOX/CH4 combustion at supercritical condition. Due to high Reynolds numbers the Subgrid Scale model was computed using Fractal Model, developed by the group [13]. Simplifying the equation of state is not recommended and signicant dierence in results can be expected [14]. Use of ideal gas will over-predict the temperature and pressure [15]. Newer study shows good results using Peng-Robinson cubic equation of state and modied subgrid chemistry is used to achieve realistic temperatures [16]. Assumption of using calculated adiabatic ame temperature as the maximum temperature in LOX/CH4 non-premixed ames is not feasible [17]. Use of Lagrangian solver to model impingement, droplet vaporization and combustion does not seem feasible and is not able to capture the major ow mechanisms of LOX/CH4 combustion simulation [18].

Appendix A

Appendix Title Here

Write your Appendix content here.

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[10] Songjiang Feng, Wansheng Nie, Bo He, and Yufeng Cheng. Three-dimensional numerical simulations of low frequency combustion instability in a lox/methane rocket engine. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 20108776), August 2010. [11] F. Zhuang, W. Nie, W. Zhao, and W. Liu. Liquid rocket combustion instability analysis methodology - methods and representative examples. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 98-3690), July 1998. [12] F. Zhuang, W. Nie, W. Zhao, and W. Liu. Liquid rocket combustion instability analysis methodology - methods and representative examples. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 98-3690), July 1998. [13] N. Ierardo and A. Congiunti. Mixing and combustion in supercritical o2/ch 4 liquid rocket injectors. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 20041163), January 2004. [14] A.Minotti and C.Bruno. Comparison between real and ideal sub and supercritical combustion simulations of lo2-ch4 lre ames at 15mpa. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 2008-951), January 2008. [15] L. Cutrone, F. Battista, G. Ranuzzi, S. Bonifacio, and J. Steelant. A cfd method for simulation of mixing and combustion in high-pressure lox/methane rocket engines. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 2008-949), January 2008. [16] Nicolas Guezennec, Matthieu Masquelety, and Suresh Menonz. Large eddy simulation of ame-turbulence interactions in a lox-ch4 shear coaxial injector. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 2012-1267), January 2012. [17] A.Minotti and C.Bruno. Flame temperatures in non-premixed ames. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 2008-998), January 2008. [18] Naimish B. Harpal, Eric Besnard, and Reza Toossi. Modeling of lox/methane impingement, mixing and combustion. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA 2010-7135), July 2010.