Particle Vaporization Velocimetry and Quantitative Soot Concentration Measurement in Sooty Flows
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Soot is a combustion generated pollutant that is both a direct risk to human health and a contributing source to global environmental change. Soot can also be a controlling factor in heat transfer inside combustion systems. Thus there is a growing interest in being able to measure soot and understand its production in practical, turbulent combustion environments. Therefore, the specific objectives of this research work were: (1) developing a way to measure velocity of sooty regions that is compatible with existing methods for measuring temporally and spatially resolved soot concentration fields and (2) using these methods to make quantitative measurements of soot in an unsteady, turbulent-like combustor. The Particle Vaporization Velocimetry (PVV) technique was developed and is compatible with Laser Induced Incandescence (LII), a soot concentration measurement approach. PVV is a flow tagging approach, where a high intensity laser (~2-3 J/cm2) is used to vaporize a small region in the soot field. This approach was demonstrated to produce a long lasting and easily readable flow tag that allows for velocity measurements over a wide range of velocities. LII proved to be the best method for detection the motion of the tag after a fixed delay. PVV and LII were used to measure velocity and two-dimensional soot concentration fields in an acoustically excited burner. In addition, images of soot luminosity were obtained. Both laminar and transitional acetylene diffusion flames were studied. The results reveal that strong acoustic forcing can significantly reduce total flame soot, as well as maximum soot concentrations, while simultaneously increasing the average soot temperature. The influence of acoustically generated vortices on soot formation was studied, and soot and products mixture mostly likely dominant high soot concentration regions. Eventually, these mixtures will be propagated downstream and oxidized as a diffusion flame.