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Published June 2022 | public
Journal Article

Time-resolved imaging of the cellular structure of methane and natural gas detonations


We present experimental observations of the density field and reaction structure of methane and natural gas detonation waves propagating in a narrow channel. Simultaneous time-resolved schlieren and CH∗ chemiluminescence images are used to describe the structure of the unstable front. Nitrogen dilution concentration is varied, and the effect of increasing dilution is to increase the instability level and cell size and decrease the chemiluminescence intensity. Comparison is made between methane- and natural gas-fueled detonations. The effect of the higher hydrocarbons present in natural gas, primarily ethane, is to increase the fine-scale structure of the detonation front and create a more continuous reaction front. Utilizing the simultaneous images, observations are made about the formation and dissipation of the material separated across the shear layer behind the front.

Additional Information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022. Received: 11 August 2021; Revised: 20 February 2022; Accepted: 12 March 2022; Published online: 12 May 2022. Mark D. Frederick acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. DGE-1333468. The high-speed camera used in this work was purchased with DURIP grant FA9550-16-1-0534 (Program Manager: Chiping Li). Data availability: The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023