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18 August 2005 Optical investigation of heat release and NOx production in combustion
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Two passive optical techniques are described to investigate combustion. Optical Emission Tomography (OET) is used for non-intrusive study of heat release through the detection of chemiluminescence by the hydroxyl radical that is generated in the burning process. The OET technique described here is based on a passive fibre-optic detection system, which allows spatially resolved high-frequency detection of the flame front in a combustion flame, where all fibres detect the emission signals simultaneously. The system withstands the high pressures and temperatures typically encountered in the harsh environments of gas turbine combustors and IC engines. The sensor-array is non-intrusive, low-cost, compact, simple to configure and can be quickly set up around a combustion field. The maximum acquisition rate is 2 kHz. This allows spatially resolved study of the fast phenomena in combustion. Furthermore, the production of NOx is investigated through the emission of green light as a result of adding tri-methyl-borate to a flame. In combustion, the tri-methyl-borate produces green luminescence in locations where NOx would be produced. Combining the green luminescence visualisation with OET detection of the hydroxyl radical allows monitoring of heat release and of NOx production areas, thus giving a means of studying both the burning process and the resulting NOx pollution.
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B. H. Timmerman, S. Patel, P. Dunkley, and P. J. Bryanston-Cross "Optical investigation of heat release and NOx production in combustion", Proc. SPIE 5880, Optical Diagnostics, 58800Q (18 August 2005);

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