Mesoscale combustion: A first step towards liquid fueled batteries

Dimitrios C. Kyritsis, Subir Roychoudhury, Charles S. McEnally, Lisa D. Pfefferle, Alessandro Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The development of a liquid fueled mesoscale catalytic combustor is presented, based on the coupling of multiplexed electrosprays for liquid fuel dispersion and a stack of catalytic grids. The grids act as a compact catalytic reactor for combustion initiation, stabilization and enhanced conversion, as well as ground electrodes for the electrospray. The combustor has a volume on the order of few cm3 and operates on various fuels, including JP8 jet fuel, which is electrosprayed at a flow rate on the order of 10 g/h and equivalence ratios varying from 0.35 to 0.70. Temperatures in the range 900-1300 K are achieved with a ±5% uniformity over the top circular surface of the burner. Using gas chromatographic analysis of the exhaust gases, a combustion efficiency in excess of 97% is estimated. This estimate was confirmed by exhaust gas composition measurements by photoionization mass spectrometry for operation with dodecane, the most abundant component of JP8. These measurements showed that alkenes and aldehydes are the major hydrocarbon products and that there is no significant molecular growth chemistry. The capability of the system to burn cleanly and efficiently even notoriously polluting fuels was demonstrated.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)763-770
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Combustion
  • Microcombustion
  • Micropower generation


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