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Chemical Reactions of Methane and of n-Hexane in Ballistic Piston Apparatus


Longwell, Paul Alan (1957) Chemical Reactions of Methane and of n-Hexane in Ballistic Piston Apparatus. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/WXBB-8989.


The results of ballistic piston tests on methane and on n-hexane are described. In the case of methane the calculated reaction temperatures are 2500 to 3500[degrees]R. and maximum pressure range up to 100,000 pounds per square inch. The distribution of reaction products and the amount of reaction are correlated with the reaction conditions. For n-hexane the products are correlated with reaction conditions and in addition reaction rate coefficients were obtained. The decomposition reaction was found to be of apparent one half order with a low apparent activation energy. The range of reaction, temperatures investigated for n-hexane was 1600-2800[degrees]R. with maximum pressures up to 115,000 pounds per sqaure inch. In addition to the experimental results there are included derivations of the differential equations describing the behavior of the ballistic piston apparatus and solution of these equations for various conditions and assumptions. In order to obtain numerical solutions it was necessary to estimate the thermodynamic properties of gases at high pressures and temperatures. These are tabulated for 1500-20,000[degrees]R. for hydrogen, helium and nitrogen; for 1500-5000[degrees]R. for methane, and 1500-4000[degrees]R. for n-hexane. The range of pressures is 0-200,000 pounds per square inch in each case.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemical Engineering
Minor Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sage, Bruce H.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1957
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-08032004-142746
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2999
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:09 Aug 2004
Last Modified:11 Oct 2023 23:03

Thesis Files

PDF (Longwell_pa_1957.pdf) - Final Version
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