Intermediate Species Measurement during Iso-Butanol Auto-Ignition

Ling Tao, Weiqi Ji, Peng Zhang, Tanjin He, Zhi Wang, Xin He, Chung Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus Citations


This work presents the time histories of intermediate species during the auto-ignition of iso-butanol at high pressure and intermediate temperature conditions obtained using a rapid compression machine and recently developed fast sampling system. Iso-butanol ignition delays were acquired for iso-butanol/O2 mixture with an inert/O2 ratio of 7.26, equivalence ratio of 0.4, in the temperature range of 840-950 K and at pressure of 25 bar. Fast sampling and gas chromatography were used to acquire and quantify the intermediate species during the ignition delay of the same mixture at P = 25.3 bar and T = 905 K. The ignition delay times and quantitative measurements of the mole fraction time histories of methane, ethene, propene, iso-butene, iso-butyraldehyde, iso-butanol, and carbon monoxide were compared with predictions from the detailed mechanisms developed by Sarathy et al., Merchant et al., and Cai et al. It is shown that while the Sarathy mechanism well predicts the overall ignition delay time, it overpredicts ethene by a factor of 6-10, underpredicts iso-butene by a factor of 2, and overpredicts iso-butyraldehyde by a factor of 2. Reaction path and sensitivity analyses were carried out to identify the reactions responsible for the observed inadequacy. The rates of iso-butanol hydrogen atom abstraction by OH radical and the beta-scission reactions of hydroxybutyl radicals were updated based on recently published quantum calculation results. Significant improvements were achieved in predicting ignition delay at high pressures (25 and 30 bar) and the species concentrations of ethene and iso-butene. However, the updated mechanism still overpredicts iso-butyraldehyde concentrations. Also, the updated mechanism degrades the prediction in ignition delay at lower pressure (15 bar) compared to the original mechanism developed by Sarathy et al.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3541-3553
Number of pages13
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Combustion Institute.Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-64385


  • Fast sampling
  • Ignition delay
  • Iso-butanol
  • Low temperature mechanism
  • Rapid compression machine


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