Faculty Advisor

V. Raghavan

Faculty Advisor

Ali S. Rangwala

Faculty Advisor

Kathy A. Notarianni




This study investigates the laminar burning velocity of premixed methane-air mixtures, having controlled supply of micron-sized (75-90 ¥ìm) coal dust and sand particles over a range of gas phase equivalence ratios (0.9-1.2), dust concentrations (0-250 g/m3) and reactant temperatures (297, 350, 400 K) using a novel Bunsen-burner type experimental design. The experimental results show that, the laminar burning velocity is enhanced by the increase in the reactant temperature, irrespective of the equivalence ratio of the mixture due to enhanced reaction rates. Addition of coal particles in fuel lean (ϕ < 1) mixtures increases the laminar burning velocity initially up to a certain coal dust concentration, but after that, the trend is altered; either it remains constant or shows a decreasing trend. The dust concentration value, which produces the initial or local maximum, increases with increase in reactant temperature. In other words, the reactant temperature plays a significant role in the trend of increase in laminar burning velocity with dust addition. For ϕ > 1, at a given reactant temperature, a linear decay of burning velocity with dust addition is observed. When a combustible dust particle interacts with the flame zone, it extracts energy from the flame (heat sink effect) and releases volatiles, thereby changing the local equivalence ratio around the flame zone. Both, increase in the equivalence ratio and the heat sink effect, are influenced by the reactant temperature. A mathematical model including these effects is developed and the model predictions are compared with the experimental results. The results are in a good agreement for fuel lean and stoichiometric mixtures; whereas the model is found to under predict results for fuel rich cases, and needs further improvements.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Fire Protection Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Particle, Laminar, Premixed, Methane, Reactant Temperature