Purdue University Graduate School
McLean_Thesis Final.pdf (26.19 MB)

Soot Volume Fraction and Particle Size Measurements using Laser-Induced Incandescence

Download (26.19 MB)
posted on 2024-04-26, 00:25 authored by Thomas N McLeanThomas N McLean

Soot is a byproduct formed during incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. Atmospheric soot from aircraft emissions increases local air temperatures, drives cloud formation, and decreases albedo on snow and ice: three factors that promote global warming. It is also potentially harmful to humans and has been associated with negative effects on heart and lung health. Operationally, soot formation indicates an inefficiency in combustion and can cause deterioration in aircraft engines. Modeling soot formation in complex flow fields is difficult and has been largely unsuccessful. In-situ soot measurements at relevant conditions can inform the design and operation of aircraft engines with reduced soot emissions. Laser-induced incandescence (LII) is a diagnostic that allows for non-intrusive measurements of soot volume fraction and primarily particle size in combustion environments. It involves laser-heating soot particles to temperatures at which they incandescence and measuring the radiated signal. The strong absorption capabilities and high sublimation temperature of soot make this diagnostic highly selective against the detection of other species. A coupled set of differential equations can be used to model the change in temperature and mass of a soot particle over time. Methods for modeling the fundamental processes in LII were reviewed in this work and comparisons were made between several different models.

International Sooting Flame target conditions were used to form a laminar diffusion flame in a Yale burner with a range of soot levels. Soot volume fraction measurements were conducted and compared with other experimental values to validate the accuracy of the experimental setup and techniques used. A calibration was performed using a laser extinction measurement from a previous study. Results showed an overall increase in soot volume fraction with increasing percentages of ethylene, as well as a transition in the peak location. Time-resolved LII was conducted at 10 MHz to determine the primary particle size of soot particles. Larger primary particles were observed with increasing height for flames with higher ethylene content. Changes in the soot formation and surface growth rates are suspected factors in the observed trends in the data.

The overall objective of this study was to validate an experimental setup for Laser-Induced Incandescence using a laminar diffusion flame. LII measurements were successfully demonstrated using the same diagnostic setup in a liquid-fueled swirl-stabilized flame at aircraft engine-relevant conditions. This study sets the groundwork for further investigation into aircraft soot generation using LII.


ASCENT Project 67


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Robert P. Lucht

Additional Committee Member 2

Carson D. Slabaugh

Additional Committee Member 3

Rohan M. Gejji