Methylcyclohexane ignition delay times under a wide range of conditions

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Advisor: Sukh S. Sidhu


During the last century, our dependence on oil has increased rapidly and is projected to increase for several decades. There is a critical need to improve the design of the combustion chamber for different kinds of engines to reduce fuel consumption. Chemical kinetics of the fuel plays an important role in reducing emissions and improving engine efficiency. Studying single components of a conventional fuel allows a fuller understanding of the physical and chemical behavior of the real fuel. Many studies have been conducted on all classes of hydrocarbons, with the exception of cycloalkanes. Only a few studies exist on cycloalkanes, which is an important class of hydrocarbons. Methylcyclohexane (MCH), which is widely used as a surrogate to represent the cycloalkane portion of a fuel, was chosen as the subject of this study. The shock tube is an established tool used for measuring the ignition delay, and was used as the experimental apparatus. Ignition delay was measured using the end-plate pressure rise, the OH* and CH* chemiluminescence and white light emission. In addition, experimental results were compared with kinetic modeling data using detailed MCH mechanisms developed by Pitz et al. and Orme et al. Different modeling approaches, such as constant volume and internal energy (with and without experimental pressure profiles) and constant pressure, were used to validate the models by comparing against experimental ignition delay data. It was observed that the equivalence ratio affects the ignition delay time. For the lower argon concentration (Ar = 93%) and higher pressure (P ̃ 16 atm), ignition delay times were longest for rich conditions. Additionally, they were shorter at lower temperatures (T = 1250 K) for stoichiometric conditions in comparison to lean values, but the opposite trend was observed at the higher temperatures (T > 1250 K). Ignition delay times of stoichiometric mixtures were longer than lean mixtures across the studied temperature range for low pressure (P = 2 atm) and argon concentration (Ar = 93%), as well as high pressure (P ̃ 16 atm) and argon concentration (Ar = 98%). The Orme et al. model using the approach of constant U,V assumption with experimental pressure profile showed a better agreement with experimental results at low temperatures than the approach without experimental pressure profile. Both models and approaches underestimate the experimental ignition delay times at high temperatures.


Cycloalkanes Testing, Internal combustion engines Ignition, Energy consumption, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Methylcyclohexane, Ignition Delay, Jet Fuels, Surrogate Fuels, Shock Tube, Hydrocarbons

Rights Statement

Copyright 2015, author