(25c) Aerosol Generation Approach and Aerosol Combustion Behavior Study
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Monday, March 27, 2017 - 2:30pm to 3:00pm
Aerosol generation approach and
aerosol combustion behavior study
Shuai Yuan, Yogesh Koirala, and M. Sam
Mary Kay O¡¯Connor Process Safety Center
Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843-3122, USA
ABSTRACT FOR AIChE/GCPS
The flash points of heat transfer fluids used in heat exchangers are normally
higher than 200¡æ, which makes people
ignore their fire and explosion potential. In an incident in Milliken Carpet factory
on 31 January 1995 that resulted in over $400 million total loss, the cause of
this incident was attributed to the leak of heat transfer fluid in the form of
aerosol at high pressure. An
ignition source ignited the heat transfer fluid aerosol when the surrounding
temperature is below its flash point.
Although Eichhorn introduced the concept of
aerosol flammability limits, the values of aerosol flammability limits are
still unclear. Understanding the
aerosol formation mechanism and aerosol flammability region helps process
designers to implement inherently safer design to minimize the risk.
Electrospray method is used to generate aerosol. The liquid fluid with sufficient
electric conductivity is dispensed by syringe pump through the small nozzles. The nozzles are aligned in a few
kilovolts electric field. Under the
influence of electric field force, the fluid is atomized to small droplets. The advantages of electrospray method
compared with other methods are the droplet size controllability and spray
stability. Various literature has
shown that the liquid properties, such as liquid conductivity, surface tension,
permittivity and viscosity, play the most important roles in determining
droplet size. In the heat transfer
fluid chosen to study the aerosol, the droplet size is controlled by changing
the conductivity of fluid by adding additives, adjusting the electric field
intensity and shifting the fluid feeding flow rate.
The other aspect
of this study is aerosol combustion behavior. Aerosol combustion can be divided into
three groups, 1) single droplet combustion, 2) combustion of droplet clouds and
3) combustion in more practical situations. This research focuses are the first two
aspects, single droplet combustion and combustion of droplet clouds. The characteristics regarding aerosol
combustion is flame propagation speed.
Based on the valuable works on single droplet flame propagation speed
done by Ballal et
al and Polymeropoulos et al, a theoretical flame propagation speed model concerning combustion
of droplet clouds is proposed. In
order to test the validity of the proposed model, a fast camera was used to
catch the flame propagation after the ignition of aerosol generated by electrospray. Through the analysis of the flame
propagation video, the aerosol flame propagation speed is determined and used
to compare with the theoretical results.
Keywords: Aerosol, Electrospray, Flame propagation
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