Abstract

Abstract Diethyl ether (DEE), epoxypropane (PO) and n-pentane have excellent ignition and combustion performance; hence, they have a wide variety of applications in industry and advanced aviation propulsion systems. As these fuels are flammable at normal temperature and pressure, their explosive characteristics need to be explored. In this study, the lower flammability limits (LFLs) of vapor mixtures of DEE/PO/n-pentane in air were measured in 20 L, closed, stainless steel spherical vessels. Experimental results were obtained at ambient atmospheric pressure and an initial temperature of 40 °C. The experimental results show that the LFLs of DEE-air, n-pentane -air, and PO-air are 1.81 vol%, 1.41 vol% and 2.44 vol%, respectively. The LFLs of binary/ternary fuel mixtures under different compositions were tested, and the experimental results are compared with the classical Le Chatelier's formula. The results show that, for the binary fuels (i.e., DEE/PO, DEE/n-pentane, PO/n-pentane)-air mixtures, the maximum difference of the LFLs between Le Chatelier's formula and the experimental results is 6.10%. For the ternary fuels (i.e., DEE/PO/n-pentane)-air mixtures, the maximum difference of the LFLs between the two results is 6.33%. Due to the adiabatic flame temperature of each single fuel mixture being close, the Le Chatelier's formula is applicable for an estimation of the LFL for DEE/PO/n-pentane-air mixtures.

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