A Low Power, Novel Ignition of Fuels Using Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNTs) and a Camera Flash (POSTPRINT)
ENGINEERING RESEARCH AND CONSULTING INC (ERC INC) EDWARDS AFB CA
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Many current industrial processes that utilize fueloxidizer chemical reactions often require an initiation stimulus, or an ignition source, to start the conversion of the chemicals to the products and release heat. A device which achieves this goal is a critical system component for most combustion processes especially in mobile and stationary power producing machines. For example, improper ignition during the firing of a rocket engine for lift-off can lead to combustion instability causing catastrophic engine failure and possible loss of the spacecraft and human life. Although many ignition methods exist, by far the most popular one is the electric spark igniter. However, it requires high-energy input supplied by a high-voltage circuitry often consisting of heavy components, and by its nature is a single-point stimulus method. Other ignition methods, such as plasma jet injection or flame jet initiation and high-power laser ignition, are all bulky, heavy, and expensive to operate. This paper describes a low-power novel ignition method that uses a single exposure of an ordinary camera flash and SWCNTs to ignite various fuels. We have shown that this method is able to ignite both solid and liquid fuels. The effects of the iron Fe nanoparticles embedded in the SWCNTs concentration on the ignition process have been studied. One application of this nano-technology based ignition method has been successfully demonstrated through an ignition of a single liquid fuel droplet, suggesting that this method may be extended to ignite fuel sprays. It may also be extended to achieve distributed ignition that would allow ignition to occur in numerous locations simultaneously.
- Combustion and Ignition
- Miscellaneous Materials
- Rocket Engines
- Rocket Propellants