Lower Explosion Limits and Compositions of Middle Distillate Fuel Vapors
Lower explosion limits (LEL) and the chemical compositions of JP-8, Jet A and JP-5 fuel vapors were determined in a sealed combustion vessel equipped with a spark igniter, a gas-sampling probe, and sensors to measure pressure rise and fuel temperature. Ignition was detected by pressure rise in the vessel. Pressure rises up to 60 psig were observed near the flash points of the test fuels. The fuel vapors in the vessel ignited from as much as 11°F below flash-point measurements. Detailed hydrocarbon speciation of the fuel vapors was performed using high-resolution gas chromatography. Over 300 hydrocarbons were detected in the vapors phase. The average molecular weight, hydrogen to carbon ratio, and LEL of the fuel vapors were determined from the concentration measurements. The jet fuel vapors had molecular weights ranging from 114 to 132, hydrogen to carbon ratios of approximately 1.93, and LELs comparable to pure hydrocarbons of similar molecular weight.