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Sgro L.A.,University of Naples Federico II | Sgro L.A.,Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale Of Science Fisiche Della Materia | D'Anna A.,University of Naples Federico II | Minutolo P.,CNR Institute for Research on Combustion
Combustion and Flame | Year: 2011

We measured particle size distributions of total and singly charged nanoparticles in premixed flames with different flame stoichiometry and temperature to investigate particle inception. Particle charging in flames occurs by diffusion charging involving ions formed by chemi-ionization reactions in the flame front. It can be described by a Boltzmann charge fraction distribution evaluated at the local flame temperature where the particles interact with the chemi-ions. As the particles coagulate in the post flame zone, their charge fraction is reduced. The charge distribution of the coagulated aerosol again results in a Boltzmann curve, this time evaluated at the local post flame gas temperature where the particles had their last coagulation event. Particle nucleation in the post flame zone, where chemi-ions are drastically reduced, produces uncharged particles. Considering the above charging processes, the charge fraction of the nucleation mode contains information on the location within the flame these particles were formed. The results show that in flames near the particle inception threshold, particles are charged close to the flame front and remain charged even late in the post flame zone. Furthermore, smaller particles undergo less charge neutralization by coagulation as they travel through the post flame zone than larger particles. A different scenario is observed in richer flames; the smaller particles eventually become uncharged, indicating that significant amounts of freshly nucleated particles in these flames are formed in the post flame zone. Whether nucleation preferentially occurs close to the flame front or persists into the post flame zone also depends on flame temperature. © 2010 The Combustion Institute.

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