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Numerical simulation of the effect of diluents on NOx formation in methane and methyl formate fuels in counter flow diffusion flame

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Private Bag-1014, Dedan Kimathi, Nyeri, Kenya
2 Department of Technical Education, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Private Bag-1014, Dedan Kimathi, Nyeri, Kenya

The increasing global demand for energy, the need to reduce green house gasses, and the depletion of fossil fuel resources have led for the need for renewable fuel sources such as biodiesel fuels. In the diesel engines, biodiesel fuels can also be used directly without comprehensive engine changes. Biodiesel relates to a diesel fuel that is based on vegetable oil or animal fat consisting of longchain of methyl, ethyl, or propyl esters. Methyl ester fuel burns more efficiently and has lower emissions of particulate matter, unburnt hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide than fossil fuels. However, combustion of methyl ester fuel results in increased nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions relative to fossil fuels. This study is concerned with characterizing the formation of NOx in the combustion of methyl formate under a counter diffusion flame. This was carried out in an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system. Simulation of the process was done using Combustion Simulation Laboratory Software (COSILAB), and involved simulating the reactions of methyl formate fuel. The results obtained were compared to those of the methane/air diffusion flame, which is a well-characterized system. The extension validated the results obtained for the methyl formate/air diffusion flame. The reduction of NOx was found to be 26% and 14% in methane and methyl formate diffusion flame respectively from 0% to 29.5% of EGR. Increased EGR from 0% to 29.5% increased NOx reduction. Compared to methane/air diffusion flame, methyl formate/air diffusion flame with and without EGR had lower NOx emission. This was found to be true when examining the amount of other metrics viz. temperature, H, OH and N radicals associated with NOx. This showed that EGR system have an effect on NOx formation.
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© 2020 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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