Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

James C. Hermanson, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Nicholas A. Dembsey, Committee Member


Hamid Johari




A pulsed fuel injector system was used to study flame structure, flame length, and emissions of ethylene jet diffusion flames over a range of injection times and duty-cycles with a variable air co-flow. In all cases the jet was completely shut off between pulses (fully-modulated) for varying intervals, giving both widely-spaced, non-interacting puffs and interacting puffs. Imaging of the luminosity from the flame revealed distinct types of flame structure and length, depending on the duration of the fuel injection interval. Flame lengths for isolated puffs (small injection times) were up to 83% less than steady state flames with the same injection velocities. With the addition of co-flow flame lengths grew to a maximum of 30% longer than flames without any co-flow. A scaling argument is also developed to predict the amount of co-flow that gives a 15% increase in mean flame length. Interacting flames with a small co-flow and small injection times (injection time = 5.475 ms) experienced flame length increases of up to 212% for a change in injection duty-cycle from 0.1 to 0.5. For interacting flames with long injection times (on time = 119 ms), essentially no change in flame length was noticeable over the same range of duty-cycles. Emission measurements suggest partial quenching of the reaction in isolated puffs with low duty-cycles and injection times (injection times less than 5.475 ms) resulting in high CO and UHC concentrations and low NO and NOx concentrations. With an increase in duty-cycle, the puffs began to interact and CO and UHC concentrations decreased while NO and NOx concentrations increased. For flames with injection times greater than 5.475 ms emission concentrations seem to be reasonably constant, with a slight increase in NO and NOx concentrations as the duty-cycle increased. Also the duty-cycle experienced in the vicinity of the probe is estimated and used as a scaling factor for the emission measurements.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Pulsed, Emissions, Diffusion Flames, Fully-Modulated, Flame Lengths