Flame Inhibition by Ferrocene and Blends of Inert and Catalytic Agents
NATIONAL INST OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY GAITHERSBURG MD
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The production of the fire suppressant CF3Br has been banned, and finding a replacement with all of its desirable properties is proving difficult. Iron pentacarbonyl has been found to be up to several orders of magnitude more effective than CF3Br, but it is flammable and highly toxic. Ferrocene FeC5H52, which is much less toxic and flammable than FeCO5, can also be used to introduce iron into a flame. We present the first experimental data and numerical modeling for flame inhibition by ferrocene and find it to behave similarly to FeCO5. A ferrocene mole fraction of 200 ppm reduced the burning velocity of slightly preheated premixed methaneair flames by a factor of two, and the effectiveness dropped off sharply at higher mole fractions. For air with a higher oxygen mole fraction, the burning velocity reduction was less. We also present experimental data and modeling for flames with ferrocene blended with CO2 or CF3H. The combination of the thermally acting agent CO2 with ferrocene mitigated the loss of effectiveness experienced by ferrocene alone at higher mole fractions. An agent consisting of 1.5 ferrocene in 98.5 CO2 performed as effectively as CF3Br in achieving a 50 reduction in burning velocity. Likewise, four times less CO2 was required to achieve the 50 reduction if 0.35 ferrocene was added to the CO2. In contrast, addition of 0.35 ferrocene to the hydrofluorocarbon CF3H reduced the CF3H required to achieve the 50 reduction in burning velocity by only about 25. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations predict that the formation of ironfluoride compounds can reduce the concentrations of the iron-species oxide and hydroxide intermediates which are believed to be responsible for the catalytic radical recombination cycles.
- Safety Engineering
- Combustion and Ignition
- Organic Chemistry