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Published March 2013 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Experimental investigation of spark ignition energy in kerosene, hexane, and hydrogen


Quantifying the risk of accidental ignition of flammable mixtures is extremely important in industry and aviation safety. The concept of a minimum ignition energy (MIE), obtained using a capacitive spark discharge ignition source, has traditionally formed the basis for determining the hazard posed by fuels. While extensive tabulations of historical MIE data exist, there has been little work done on ignition of realistic industrial and aviation fuels, such as gasoline or kerosene. In the current work, spark ignition tests are performed in a gaseous kerosene–air mixture with a liquid fuel temperature of 60°C and a fixed spark gap of 3.3 mm. The required ignition energy was examined, and a range of spark energies over which there is a probability of ignition is identified and compared with previous test results in Jet A (aviation kerosene). The kerosene results are also compared with ignition test results obtained in previous work for traditional hydrogen-based surrogate mixtures used in safety testing as well as two hexane–air mixtures. Additionally, the statistical nature of spark ignition is discussed.

Additional Information

© 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Received 10 December 2010; Received in revised form; 18 February 2011; Accepted 27 March 2011. This work was carried out in the Explosion Dynamics Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology and was supported by The Boeing Company through a Strategic Research and Development Relationship Agreement CT-BA-GTA-1.

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Accepted Version - jlppi10_SBane.pdf


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