Influence of hydrodynamics on the upper explosion limit of ethene-air-nitrogen mixtures.

J.W. Bolk, Jeroen W. Bolk, K.R. Westerterp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    A large pilot plant was constructed to study the upper explosion limit of ethene-air-nitrogen mixtures under conditions of flow in a tube. Experiments were performed at pressures of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 MPa, gas temperatures between 298 and 573 K, and with ethene concentrations between 20 and 40 vol. %. A cylinder-symmetrical 2-D model developed simulated the experimentally obtained ignition and flame propagation phenomena. The commercial computational fluid dynamics code AEA-CFX 4.1 was used to solve this model, to which reaction kinetics for a scheme of two consecutive reactions were added. The model predicts the experimental explosion points within 0.5 vol. %. The explosion limit is influenced by the gas velocity: it becomes smaller and shifts to higher oxygen concentrations at increasing flow rates. In practice this means that partial oxidation reactions can safely be operated at high oxygen concentrations, provided the gas is kept flowing at high flow rates.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)124-144
    Number of pages21
    JournalAIChE journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


    • METIS-106236
    • IR-71502

    Cite this