The influence of oxygen concentration on the combustion of a fuel/oxidizer mixture

H. Biteau, A. Fuentes, G. Marlair, J. L. Torero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study is to investigate the influence of the O2concentration on the combustion behaviour of a fuel/oxidizer mixture. The material tested is a ternary mixture of lactose, starch, and potassium nitrate, which has already been used in an attempt to estimate heat release rate using the FM-Global Fire Propagation Apparatus. It provides a well-controlled combustion chamber to study the evolution of the combustion products when varying the O2concentration, between air and low oxidizer conditions. Different chemical behaviours have been exhibited. When the O2concentration was reduced beyond 18%, large variations were observed in the CO2and CO concentrations. This critical O2concentration seems to be the limit before which the material only uses its own oxidizer to react. On the other hand, mass loss did not highlight this change in chemical reactions and remained similar whatever the test conditions. This presumes that the oxidation of CO into CO2are due to reactions occurring in the gas phase especially for large O2concentrations. This actual behaviour can be verified using a simplified flammability limit model adapted for the current work. Finally, a sensitivity analysis has been carried out to underline the influence of CO concentration in the evaluation of heat release rate using typical calorimetric methods. The results of this study provide a critical basis for the investigation of the combustion of a fuel/oxidizer mixture and for the validation of future numerical models. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-289
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

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