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Simplified Modeling of Oxidation of HydrocarbonsA method of simplified computational modeling of oxidation of hydrocarbons is undergoing development. This is one of several developments needed to enable accurate computational simulation of turbulent, chemically reacting flows. At present, accurate computational simulation of such flows is difficult or impossible in most cases because (1) the numbers of grid points needed for adequate spatial resolution of turbulent flows in realistically complex geometries are beyond the capabilities of typical supercomputers now in use and (2) the combustion of typical hydrocarbons proceeds through decomposition into hundreds of molecular species interacting through thousands of reactions. Hence, the combination of detailed reaction- rate models with the fundamental flow equations yields flow models that are computationally prohibitive. Hence, further, a reduction of at least an order of magnitude in the dimension of reaction kinetics is one of the prerequisites for feasibility of computational simulation of turbulent, chemically reacting flows. In the present method of simplified modeling, all molecular species involved in the oxidation of hydrocarbons are classified as either light or heavy; heavy molecules are those having 3 or more carbon atoms. The light molecules are not subject to meaningful decomposition, and the heavy molecules are considered to decompose into only 13 specified constituent radicals, a few of which are listed in the table. One constructs a reduced-order model, suitable for use in estimating the release of heat and the evolution of temperature in combustion, from a base comprising the 13 constituent radicals plus a total of 26 other species that include the light molecules and related light free radicals. Then rather than following all possible species through their reaction coordinates, one follows only the reduced set of reaction coordinates of the base. The behavior of the base was examined in test computational simulations of the combustion of heptane in a stirred reactor at various initial pressures ranging from 0.1 to 6 MPa. Most of the simulations were performed for stoichiometric mixtures; some were performed for fuel/oxygen mole ratios of 1/2 and 2.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Bellan, Josette
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Harstad, Kenneth
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 2008
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, September 2008
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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