Chemical interaction of dual-fuel mixtures in low-temperature oxidation, comparing n -pentane/dimethyl ether and n -pentane/ethanol

Hanfeng Jin, Julia Pieper, Christian Hemken, Eike Bräuer, Lena Ruwe, Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus

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35 Scopus citations


With the aim to study potential cooperative effects in the low-temperature oxidation of dual-fuel combinations, we have investigated prototypical hydrocarbon (CH) / oxygenated (CHO) fuel mixtures by doping n-pentane with either dimethyl ether (DME) or ethanol (EtOH). Species measurements were performed in a flow reactor at an equivalence ratio of ϕ = 0.7, at a pressure of p = 970 mbar, and in the temperature range of 450–930 K using electron ionization molecular-beam mass spectrometry (EI-MBMS). Series of different blending ratios were studied including the three pure fuels and mixtures of n-pentane containing 25% and 50% of CHO. Mole fractions and signals of a significant number of species with elemental composition CHO (n = 1–5, x = 0–(n + 2), y = 0–3) were analyzed to characterize the behavior of the mixtures in comparison to that of the individual components. Not unexpectedly, the overall reactivity of n-pentane is decreased when doping with ethanol, while it is promoted by the addition of DME. Interestingly, the present experiments reveal synergistic interactions between n-pentane and DME, showing a stronger effect on the negative temperature coefficient (NTC) for the mixture than for each of the individual components. Reasons for this behavior were investigated and show several oxygenated intermediates to be involved in enhanced OH radical production. Conversely, ethanol is activated by the addition of n-pentane, again involving key OH radical reactions. Although the main focus here is on the experimental results, we have attempted, in a first approximation, to complement the experimental observations by simulations with recent kinetic models. Interesting differences were observed in this comparison for both, fuel consumption and intermediate species production. The inhibition effect of ethanol is not predicted fully, and the synergistic effect of DME is not captured satisfactorily. The exploratory analysis of the experimental results with current models suggests that deeper knowledge of the reaction chemistry in the low-temperature regime would be useful and might contribute to improved prediction of the low-temperature oxidation behavior for such fuel mixtures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-53
Number of pages18
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Mar 22 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for support of this work under contract KO1363/31-1. HJ is grateful for a fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation that supported his research period in Bielefeld. Helpful discussions with Dr. Luc-Sy Tran, now at Lille University, during his research period as an AvH Fellow in Bielefeld are gratefully acknowledged. Furthermore, the authors wish to thank Prof. Yiguang Ju, Princeton University, USA, for his profound and continuous interest in this work, for insightful discussions and for hosting HJ for a research stay in his group.


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