In order to model a practical combustion system successfully, it is necessary to develop one or more reaction rate equations which will describe performance over a wide range of conditions. The equations should be kept as simple as possible and commensurate with the accuracy needed. In this paper a bimolecular reaction is assumed, based upon a simple mass balance. Temperatures derived from the latter are related to measured practical ones such that, if required, an evaluation of the partly burned product composition can be made. A convenient reaction rate equation is given which describes a wide range of blow-out data for spherical reactors at weak mixture conditions.
Analysis of the components used in the above equation (especially the variation of activation energy) clearly shows its empirical nature but does not detract from its engineering value. Rich mixtures are considered also, but lack of data precludes a reliable analysis. One of the major results obtained is the variation of the reaction order (n) with equivalence ratio (φ): weak mixtures, n = 2φ; rich mixtures, n = 2/φ. Some support for this variation has been noticed in published literature of other workers.
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