This research project will determine the specific conditions under which fuel-air mixtures may be ignited at the microscale. In a research apparatus specifically designed for this purpose, premixed fuel and air charges will be ignited at various temperatures and pressures by electric spark in the presence of quenching walls. The combination of temperature, pressure, and wall distance will be varied not only to simulate IC engine conditions, but also to explore the fundamental limits of spark ignition in combustion chambers with high surface area to volume ratios. Fuels to be considered include hydrogen, butane, propane, methanol and gasoline.
Project end date: 07/30/06