THE ROLE OF INERTS IN HYDROCARBON FLAMES.
VIRGINIA UNIV CHARLOTTESVILLE
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The role of inerts in hydrocarbon flames close to heat sinks was explored in a spectrophotometric study of low pressure flat butane-oxygen flames to which were added different amounts of nitrogen while as many other variables as possible were held constant. Measurements of flame temperatures led to the discovery that the presence of an inert can bring about reductions in the heat losses to the sink, which can more than compensate for the effect of thermal dilution. Thus, flames containing nitrogen were found to possess higher temperatures than those of the pure fuel oxidant mixture when burned at the same rate. A theoretical analysis leads to conclusions which are in agreement with the experimental results. Variations in the intensity profiles of emitters in the main reaction zone can be interpreted in terms of the increased resistance to diffusion attending nitrogen addition and the higher frequency of termolecular collisions relative to bimolecular collisions. Author