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Size Resolved High Temperature Oxidation Kinetics of Nano-Sized Titanium and Zirconium Particles

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journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2015, 00:00 by Yichen Zong, Rohit J. Jacob, Shuiqing Li, Michael R. Zachariah
While ultrafine metal particles offer the possibility of very high energy density fuels, there is considerable uncertainty in the mechanism by which metal nanoparticles burn, and few studies that have examined the size dependence to their kinetics at the nanoscale. In this work we quantify the size dependence to the burning rate of titanium and zirconium nanoparticles. Nanoparticles in the range of 20–150 nm were produced via pulsed laser ablation, and then in-flight size-selected using differential electrical mobility. The size-selected oxide free metal particles were directly injected into the post flame region of a laminar flame to create a high temperature (1700–2500 K) oxidizing environment. The reaction was monitored using high-speed videography by tracking the emission from individual nanoparticles. We find that sintering occurs prior to significant reaction, and that once sintering is accounted for, the rate of combustion follows a near nearly (diameter)1 power-law dependence. Additionally, Arrhenius parameters for the combustion of these nanoparticles were evaluated by measuring the burn times at different ambient temperatures. The optical emission from combustion was also used to model the oxidation process, which we find can be reasonably described with a kinetically controlled shrinking core model.