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The Burning of Single Drops of Fuel in Oxidizing Atmospheres


Goldsmith, Martin (1955) The Burning of Single Drops of Fuel in Oxidizing Atmospheres. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/E4YT-5B12.


The burning of single, isolated drops of fuel in a quiescent oxidizing atmosphere has been investigated theoretically and experimentally. Two theories are presented. The first, called the diffusion theory, rests on the assumption that the rate of burning is determined by the rate at which the reactants are delivered by diffusion to the flame front surrounding the liquid drop. The second, or thermal theory is based on the assumption that chemical reaction rates govern the rate of burning of the droplet.

The effects on droplet burning rate of changes in the composition, temperature, and pressure of the surrounding oxidizing atmosphere have been investigated experimentally. A preliminary study has also been made of the effect of forced convection on droplet burning.

It is found that the thermal theory of droplet burning does not adequately explain the observed variations in droplet burning rate as the composition and temperature of the surrounding atmosphere are varied. On the other hand, substantial agreement is found between the results of the diffusion theory and experimental data.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Mechanical Engineering and Physics) ; fuel; oxidizing atmospheres
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Minor Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Penner, Stanford S. (advisor)
  • Tsien, Hsue Shen (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Penner, Stanford S. (chair)
  • Tsien, Hsue Shen
  • Cole, Julian D.
  • Kyropoulos, Peter R.
  • Rannie, W. Duncan
  • Marble, Frank E.
  • Leighton, Robert B.
Defense Date:1 January 1955
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12182003-091848
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5037
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:19 Dec 2003
Last Modified:29 Jun 2023 00:02

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PDF (Goldsmith_m_1955.pdf) - Final Version
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