Flame Extinguishment Experiment -2 JAXA (FLEX-2J) - 06.18.15
Fires burn differently in space, where fuels form spherical droplets and flames burn in a rounded form, rather than straight up. The Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2 JAXA (FLEX-2J) studies the interactions of flames on the motion and ignition (or non-ignition) of millimeter-sized droplets. Results can provide fundamental insight into the physics of fuel burning, which improves computer models designed to reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption efficiency in space and on Earth. Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending Experiment Details
Hiroshi Nomura, Ph.D., College of Industrial Technology, Chiba 275-8575, Japan
Daniel L. Dietrich, Ph.D., Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States
NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States
ZIN Technologies Incorporated, Cleveland, OH, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - Ongoing
Previous ISS Missions
- This investigation extends the results of single droplet studies to the conditions where droplet-droplet interactions are important. This provides insight into the fundamental physics of practical combustors. Specifically, droplets in practical combustors interact with each other as a flame spreads through a fuel spray. This includes not only how the flame spreads between the droplets, but also how the flame influences the motion of the droplets.
- The combustion of liquid fuels is a major source of energy in the world, and the overwhelming energy source in the transportation sector. The combustion of liquid fuels, however, faces enormous engineering and scientific challenges in the future. This includes minimizing the carbon footprint, and the minimization of pollutant emissions and combustors that can accommodate fuels from a range of fuel stocks (e.g. oil shales, biofuels, etc.). These challenges can only be met by further the understanding of liquid fuel combustion from a fundamental perspective. This includes detailed numerical and theoretical modeling that, in turn, requires validation from high quality bench-scale experiments such as FLEX-2J.
Previous flame extinguishment experiments on the International Space Station studied fuel burning in single droplets of fuel. This research builds on that work to study interactions among many droplets. As a flame spreads throughout a spray of fuel, droplets interact with each other and with the flame. Studying these interactions in space benefits spacecraft propulsion systems, as well as crew safety.
Combustion of fuels is the main source of generating energy on Earth, from transportation to power plants. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard limited resources, combustion of liquid fuels, such as gasoline, will need to become more efficient in the future. Burning behavior of millimeter-sized droplets in space is similar to that of fine droplets in combustion engines on Earth. Results from this investigation benefit those efforts by providing new insight into the fundamental physics of fuel burning.
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