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MAE C150R/C250R

Rocket Propulsion Systems


SHORT Assignment 3: Due Monday, April 30, 2018 at 12 noon PDT
A. R. Karagozian

1. Assuming no dissociation of the product species (i.e., that the products shown are the only
species present in the products of the combustion process), determine the adiabatic flame
temperature Tf and product molar concentrations (a, b, c, d values) for the combustion
reaction of methane (CH4 ) and air which are introduced into a combustion chamber at 298K
and 1 atm pressure:

CH4 + 15 (.21O2 + 0.79N2 ) → a(CO2 ) + b(H2 O) + c(N2 ) + d(O2 )

Note here that there are a couple of ways that the resulting equation for an adiabatic process
(∆H = 0) may be solved. Both involve guessing the value of the adiabatic flame temperature
Tf and iterating until the equation is satisfied. Option A, as outlined in class, could be to
use curve fits for the specific heat values as a function of temperature (Cp (T ) and integrating
analytically; this is pretty straightforward since the fits are a power series in T . Option B
is to use the tables in the Course Notes (Table 1.5) for the enthalpy differences for various
species, where in the table, the terms represent, for a given species i at temperature T,
Z T
o o
Hi,T − Hi,298K ≡ Cp,i dT̂
298

Either approach could be used in solving this problem.

2. Consider the following gaseous reaction of methane and oxygen at a pressure of 1 atm and
an initial temperature T1 of 298K:

CH4 + 2O2 → CO2 + 2H2 O

Assume that this reaction involves effectively “calorically perfect gases”, so that the specific
heats may be considered approximately constant over a range of temperatures. This means
that, on a molar basis, the specific heats at constant pressure may be approximated as the
following constants: Cp,CO2 ∼= 13.4 cal/mole − K, Cp,CH4 ∼ = 16.0 cal/mole − K, Cp,O2 ∼ =

9.0cal/mole − K, and Cp,H2 O = 10.5cal/mole − K.

a) Assuming that the above reaction goes to completion, estimate the adiabatic flame
temperature for the reaction, Tf∗ .
b) Now consider instead the reaction of methane in air:

CH4 + 2(O2 + 3.76N2 ) → CO2 + 2H2 O + 7.52N2

Now solve for the adiabatic flame temperature for a complete combustion reaction. Note
here that one may approximate Cp,N2 ∼ = 8.0 cal/mole − K.