Experimental and theoretical study of single iron particle combustion under low-oxygen dilution conditions

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In the present study, a novel in situ particle sizing approach is proposed and used to measure the characteristic timescales of micron-sized iron particle combustion under low-oxygen (10–17 vol%) dilution conditions. The particle size is determined by probing the light emission intensity of a burning particle during melting, which is proportional to the cross-section area of the particle projected to the camera. Detailed descriptions of the calibration, validation, and characterization of the experimental method are elaborated. With systematic measurements, we obtain one-to-one correlations between combustion timescales and single particle diameters at various diluted oxygen concentrations. Furthermore, we formally derive a theoretical model for heterogeneous combustion of growing (iron) particles in the diffusion-limited regime. The model suggests that the diffusion-limited burn time scales with the initial particle diameter squared (i.e., a new, generalized d2-law). Owing to accounting for the particle growth, the newly derived model suggests a significantly (1.66 times) shorter combustion duration compared to the conventional d2-law for shrinking particle combustion. It turns out that the new model agrees well with the experiment. This agreement also suggests that under low-oxygen dilution conditions, the combustion regime of iron particles during the intensive burning stage (i.e., from ignition to the peak particle temperature) is limited by external oxygen diffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129718
Number of pages10
Issue numberPart B.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has received funding from Opzuid (stimulus) Grant agreement no. PROJ-02594 . D. Ning acknowledges financial support through Heroes for Heroes Grant no. 1006650 awarded by Eindhoven University of Technology.


  • Iron particle combustion
  • Low-oxygen dilution
  • Metal fuel
  • Particle sizing
  • Theoretical burn time


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