New Approaches to Controlling Combustion


The history of the subject of electrical aspects of combustion is a very ancient one. In England, the ability of the flame to discharge an electroscope was demonstrated by W. Gilbert at the court of Queen Elizabeth I as early as AD 1600. The recent topicality of the subject owes much to its potential applicability to the many problems in combustion which have arisen, not least in response to current concerns about diminishing fuel resources and increasing levels of pollution. A review published in the late 1960s [1], whilst dealing largely with academic aspects, already drew attention to the considerable practical potential of these techniques. By 1986, it was appropriate to include separate sections on plasma jets in combustion and the effect of large electric fields on flames in a book on “Advanced Combustion Methods” [2]. The effect of magnetic fields on flames is another area of potential interest (see pp 336 of [1]). Here again, the pioneering work may be traced to classical researches, in this instance those of Faraday [3]. More recently, however, the main practical interest has developed around systems of very fast gas flows — e.g. in magneto-hydro-dynamic generation of electrical power (e.g. pp 259 of [1]). What follows is intended to draw attention to some of the interesting new and practically important directions the subject has taken since the publication of the above-mentioned texts in two particular areas; injection of plasmas into combustion systems, and, complementarily, high voltage, low current, electric field studies applied to flames.


Diffusion Flame Soot Formation Catalytic Combustion Soot Volume Fraction Magnetic Field Effect 
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© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1993

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  • M. Kono

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