New Granular Model Medium To Investigate Smoldering Fronts Propagation-Experiments

Abstract : Smoldering is involved in a variety of natural situations such as forest fires and also in man-controlled processes such as oil recovery and gas production from oil shale. A general feature of these situations is that a heat wave is propagating through the solid porous medium, powered by the flameless combustion of a solid. In numerous applications, this heat supply results from the partial oxidation of the carbon left after the devolatilization of the medium as the hot wave is approaching. The process of carbon oxidation in the complex geometry of a porous medium with forced air flow is not yet fully understood. In particular, the amounts of CO and CO2 produced, that strongly impact the velocity and the temperature of the front, remain unpredictable to date. In this work, a new model porous medium has been produced by adding pyrolytic carbon into inert porous particles, and it has been characterized in detail, aiming at experiments in situations as simple as possible: the oxidation of carbon deposited at the surface of an inert solid matrix. Two of the main parameters that influence the front the carbon content and the fed air velocity were varied over wide ranges. During experiments, carbon was always totally oxidized whereas oxygen was not totally consumed at low carbon content and high air velocities. Depending on the situations, the fraction of carbon oxidized to CO (and not to CO2) varied between 23 and 37%. It was clearly established that the combustion of a particle is limited by internal mass transfer. The thickness of the combustion front is clearly observable, and it is shown to vary drastically depending on the operating parameters. These results are intended to provide a benchmark for the validation of a numerical model in a future work.
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Energy and Fuels, American Chemical Society, 2015, 29 (10), pp.6780-6792. 〈http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b01325〉. 〈10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b01325〉
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Germain Baud, Sylvain Salvador, Gérald Debenest, Jean-François Thovert. New Granular Model Medium To Investigate Smoldering Fronts Propagation-Experiments. Energy and Fuels, American Chemical Society, 2015, 29 (10), pp.6780-6792. 〈http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b01325〉. 〈10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b01325〉. 〈hal-01611011〉

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