Dual-camera high-speed imaging of the ignition modes of ethanol, methanol and n-hexane in a shock tube

Miguel Figueroa Labastida, Jihad Badra, Aamir Farooq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Shock tubes are used as homogeneous batch reactors to measure ignition delay times, reaction rate coefficients and species time-histories of a variety of chemical systems. Any non-ideality or inhomogeneity in the shock tube experiment would affect the quality and usefulness of measured data. Experimental and computational efforts have previously been carried out to characterize the regimes of ideal operation of shock tubes. High-speed imaging has proven to be a highly useful tool to assess ignition homogeneity. In this work, a dual-camera setup has been used with an optical end-section in a circular shock tube to obtain simultaneous high-speed images from the shock tube endwall and sidewall, thus providing visualization of the ignition phenomenon in three dimensions. Two case studies are presented herein to demonstrate the quality of data and insights that are obtained using this diagnostic technique to study the ignition modes of different fuels. The first is a comparison of the ignition of two alternative fuels, methanol and ethanol, and the second is a study of the ignition dependence on the fuel concentration of a representative paraffinic fuel, n-hexane. The unique dual-camera imaging diagnostic enabled deeper insights into the ignition homogeneity, with all fuels exhibiting localized ignition at low temperatures. Methanol showed a higher propensity than ethanol to ignite far from the endwall, and the high concentration of n-hexane led to inhomogeneous ignition.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Jul 17 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The paper is based on work supported by Saudi Aramco Research and Development Center FUELCOM program under Master Research Agreement Number 6600024505/01. FUELCOM (Fuel Combustion for Advanced Engines) is a collaborative research undertaking between Saudi Aramco and KAUST intended to address the fundamental aspects of hydrocarbon fuel combustion in engines, and develop fuel/engine design tools suitable for advanced combustion modes.


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