A kinetics and dynamics study on the auto-ignition of dimethyl ether at low temperatures and low pressures
Curran, Henry J.
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Huang, Wenlin, Zhao, Qian, Huang, Zuohua, Curran, Henry J., & Zhang, Yingjia. (2021). A kinetics and dynamics study on the auto-ignition of dimethyl ether at low temperatures and low pressures. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 38(1), 601-609. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2020.07.050
Though the combustion chemistry of dimethyl ether (DME) has been widely investigated over the past decades, there remains a dearth of ignition data that examines the low-temperature, low-pressure chemistry of DME. In this study, DME/`air¿ mixtures at various equivalence ratios from lean (0.5) to extremely rich (5.0) were ignited behind reflected shock waves at a fixed pressure (3.0 atm) over the temperature range 625¿1200¿K. The ignition behavior is different from that at high-pressures, with a repeatable ignition delay time fall-off feature observed experimentally in the temperature transition zone from the negative temperature coefficient (NTC) regime to the high-temperature regime. This could not be reproduced using available kinetic mechanisms as conventionally homogeneous ignition simulations. The fall-off behavior shows strong equivalence ratio dependence and disappears completely at an equivalence ratio of 5.0. A local ignition kernel postulate was implemented numerically to quantifiably examine the inhomogeneous premature ignition. At low temperature, no pre-ignition occurs in the mixture. A conspicuous discrepancy was observed between the measurements and constrained UV simulations at temperatures beyond the NTC regime. A third O2 addition reaction sub-set was incorporated into AramcoMech 3.0, together with related species thermochemistry calculated using the G3/G4/CBS-APNO compound method, to explore the low-temperature deviation. The new reaction class does not influence the model predictions in IDTs, but the updated thermochemistry does. Sensitivity analyses indicate that the decomposition of hydroperoxy-methylformate plays a critical role in improving the low-temperature oxidation mechanism of DME but unfortunately, the thermal rate coefficient has never been previously investigated. Further experimental and theoretical endeavors are required to attain holistic quantitative chemical kinetics based on our understanding of the low-temperature chemistry of DME.