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Detonation in hydrocarbon fuel blends

Austin, J. M. and Shepherd, J. E. (2003) Detonation in hydrocarbon fuel blends. Combustion and Flame, 132 (1-2). pp. 73-90. ISSN 0010-2180. doi:10.1016/S0010-2180(02)00422-4.

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A study of detonations in high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fuels of interest to pulse detonation engine applications was performed in a 280-mm diameter, 7.3-m long facility. Detonation pressure, wave speed, and cell width measurements were made in JP-10 mixtures and in mixtures representative of the decomposition products of JP-10. Experiments were performed in vapor-phase JP-10 mixtures at 353 K over a range of equivalence ratios (0.7 ≤ φ ≤ 1.4), nitrogen dilutions (fuel-oxygen to fuel-air), and initial pressures (20–130 kPa). The cell widths of the JP-10 mixtures are found to be similar to those of propane mixtures. A fuel blend representative of thermally decomposed JP-10 was studied at 295 K. This blend consisted of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, acetylene, ethylene, and hexane with varying fractions of oxygen and nitrogen. The measured cell width of the fuel blend-air mixture is about half that of JP-10-air. The addition of components of the fuel blend (acetylene, ethylene, and methane) to JP-10 in air at 353 K was characterized. Nitrogen diluted mixtures of stoichiometric hexane-oxygen were studied and the cell widths for hexane-air and JP-10-air are found to be comparable. The addition of lower molecular weight fuels (hydrogen, acetylene, ethylene, and carbon monoxide) to hexane-air was investigated. The measured cell width decreases, indicating increased sensitivity to detonation, with increasing fraction of hydrogen, acetylene, and ethylene, in order of effectiveness. The addition of a small fraction of carbon monoxide produces a small decrease in the cell width, but addition of more than about 75% (by fuel mass) carbon monoxide results in a significant increase in cell width. Carbon monoxide is a principal intermediate product of hydrocarbon combustion yet there are relatively little cell width data available. Cell width measurements were made in carbon monoxide-air mixtures with the addition of hydrogen or hydrocarbons (acetylene, ethylene, and hexane). A linear relationship is found between the cell width and the reaction zone length when it is defined as the location of the peak in hydroxyl mole fraction.

Item Type:Article
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Shepherd, J. E.0000-0003-3181-9310
Additional Information:© 2003 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier. Received 4 February 2002, received in revised form 26 June 2002; accepted 1 July 2002. This work was partially performed in conjunction with the Air Force and Advanced Projects Research Inc., under contract F04611-98-C-0046, and partially with the Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Multidisciplinary Study of Pulse Detonation Engine, Grant No. 00014-99-1-0744, subcontract 1686-ONR-0744. We would like to thank Tony Chao for design work in strengthening the facility, Eric Wintenberger for performing the vapor pressure measurements, and Florian Pintgen for his work with the heating system and assistance with JP-10 experiments.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)F04611-98-C-0046
Advanced Projects Research Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-99-1-0744
Subject Keywords:Detonation; Cell size; Hydrocarbon fuels
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140908-124417008
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Official Citation:J.M. Austin, J.E. Shepherd, Detonations in hydrocarbon fuel blends, Combustion and Flame, Volume 132, Issues 1–2, January 2003, Pages 73-90, ISSN 0010-2180, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49346
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Sep 2014 20:20
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:42

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