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CUED Division A

Energy, Fluids and Turbomachinery

The production of hydrogen from partial oxidation concepts (POX) is a
topic of active research due to the imminent fuel cell revolution.
We have used the advantages offered by porous media combustion,
namely the fact that the reaction zone can be made to run at
high temperatures (“superadiabatic” combustion), to stabilise
ultra-rich premixed flames.

Porous foams and beds of packed beads
of alumina have been used (Fig. 1) and we have burned methane, methanol,
octane and
commercial-grade petrol. Figure 2 shows that very rich flames can
burn stably at equivalence ratios higher than the conventional
rich flammability limit and that the present POX burner can be made
to produce products close to equilibrium.
A patent application has been filed.


Figure 1.   The
porous media burner used for stabilising very rich flames. Top view
through a mirror located immediately downstream the porous foam.


Figure 2.   Measured species mole fractions compared to calculated equilibrium composition for methanol.