Flame Propagation in Microchannels
Combustion at small scales (micro- and mesoscales) is gaining increasing attention these days due to the wide spectrum of potential applications in sensors, actuators, portable electronic devices, rovers, robots, unmanned air vehicles, thrusters, industrial heating devices, and, furthermore, heat and mechanical backup power sources for air-conditioning equipment in hybrid vehicles and direct ignition (DI) engines as well [1–3]. Combustion of hydrocarbon fuels is more attractive to manufacturers of miniature power devices because the energy density of hydrocarbons is several times higher than modern batteries . Microscale combustion physics is quite different from those at larger length scales. For example, flame propagation through narrow channels has unique characteristics, e.g., the increasing effects of flame–wall interaction and molecular diffusion [5–10]. In small-scale combustion systems, the surface-to-volume (S/V) ratio is large, which leads to more heat loss and thus causes flame extinction more easily.
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