Comparison between Hydrogen and Methane Fuels in a 3-D Scramjet at Mach 8
Technical Report,01 Apr 2013,27 Mar 2015
THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND BRISBANE Australia
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Gaseous hydrogen has typically been the fuel of choice for scramjets operating at speeds greater than Mach 7. This is because of its high specific energy content, as well as its fast reaction characteristics in air. The disadvantage of hydrogen is its low density, which is a particular problem for small vehicles with significant internal volume constraints. The current study investigated the use of gaseous methane as a fuel for a Mach 8 scramjet. This involved experiments with a 3-D scramjet using a cavity based flame holder in the T4 shock tunnel at The University of Queensland, as well as a companion fundamental CFD study. The performance of small chained hydrocarbons ethylene and methane was compared with hydrogen to establish the importance of its lower specific energy content and slower reaction characteristics. In addition, a scoping study was performed to determine the capability for direct connect testing in the T4 shock tunnel.