NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Flame Inhibition by Ferrocene and Blends of Inert and Catalytic Agents.

pdf icon Flame Inhibition by Ferrocene and Blends of Inert and Catalytic Agents. (207 K)
Linteris, G. T.; Rumminger, M. D.; Babushok, V. I.; Tsang, W.

Combustion Institute, Symposium (International) on Combustion, 28th. Proceedings. Volume 2. July 20-August 4, 2000, Edinburgh, Scotland, Combustion Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, Candel, S.; Driscoll, J. F.; Burgess, A. R.; Gore, J. P., Editor(s)(s), 2965-2972 pp, 2000.


combustion; flame extinguishment; ferrocene; experiments; numerical models; flame chemistry; metal oxides; halon alternatives; flame suppression


The production of the fire suppressant CF3Br has been banned, and finding a replacement with all of its desirable properties is proving difficult. Iron pentacarbonyl has been found to be up to several orders of magnitude more effective than CF3Br, but it is flammable and highly toxic. The compound ferrocene (Fe(C5H5)2), which is much less toxic and flammable than Fe(CO)5, can also be used to introduce iron into a flame. We present the first experimental data and numerical modeling for the flame inhibition properties of ferrocene, and find it to behave similarly to Fe(CO)5. A ferrocene mole fraction of 200 ppm reduces the burning velocity of slightly preheated premixed methane-air flames by a factor of two, and the effectiveness drops off sharply at higher mole fractions. The burning velocity reduction is less with an oxidizer stream having a higher oxygen mole fraction. We also present experimental data and modeling for flames with ferrocene blended with CO2 or CF3H. The combination of the thermally acting agent CO2 with ferrocene mitigates the loss of effectiveness experienced by ferrocene alone at higher mole fractions. An agent consisting of 1.5% ferrocene in 98.5% CO2 performs as effectively as CF3Br in achieving a 50% reduction in burning velocity. Likewise, four times less CO2 is required to achieve the 50% reduction if 0.35% ferrocene is added to the CO2. In contrast, addition of 0.35% ferrocene to the hydrofluorocarbon CF3H only reduces the CF3H required to achieve the 50% reduction in burning velocity by only about 25%. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations predict that the formation of iron-fluoride compounds can reduce the concentrations of the iron-species oxide and hydroxide intermediates which are believed to be responsible for the catalytic radical recombination cycles.