|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 3|
The high energy density of hydrocarbon fuels creates a great opportunity to develop catalytic combustion based micro-power generation systems to meet increasing demands for micro-scale devices. In this work, the recent technological development progress in fundamental understanding of the catalytic combustion at micro-scales are reviewed. The underlying fundamental mechanisms, flame stability, hetero-homogeneous interaction, catalytic ignition, and catalytic reforming are reviewed in catalytic micro-scale combustion systems. Catalytic combustion and its design, diagnosis, and modeling operation are highlighted for micro-combustion application purpose; these fundamental aspects are reviewed. Finally, an overview of future studies is made. The primary objective of this review is to present an overview of the development of micro-power generators by focusing more on the advances and challenges in the fundamental understanding of the catalytic combustion at micro-scales.
Transient simulation of the hydrogen-assisted self-ignition of propane-air mixtures were carried out in platinum-coated micro-channels from ambient cold-start conditions, using a two-dimensional model with reduced-order reaction schemes, heat conduction in the solid walls, convection and surface radiation heat transfer. The self-ignition behavior of hydrogen-propane mixed fuel is analyzed and compared with the heated feed case. Simulations indicate that hydrogen can successfully cause self-ignition of propane-air mixtures in catalytic micro-channels with a 0.2 mm gap size, eliminating the need for startup devices. The minimum hydrogen composition for propane self-ignition is found to be in the range of 0.8-2.8% (on a molar basis), and increases with increasing wall thermal conductivity, and decreasing inlet velocity or propane composition. Higher propane-air ratio results in earlier ignition. The ignition characteristics of hydrogen-assisted propane qualitatively resemble the selectively inlet feed preheating mode. Transient response of the mixed hydrogen- propane fuel reveals sequential ignition of propane followed by hydrogen. Front-end propane ignition is observed in all cases. Low wall thermal conductivities cause earlier ignition of the mixed hydrogen-propane fuel, subsequently resulting in low exit temperatures. The transient-state behavior of this micro-scale system is described, and the startup time and minimization of hydrogen usage are discussed.