Essay3 - ME5446 ESSAY 3 To properly predict combustion...

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ME5446 ESSAY 3 To properly predict combustion performance, it is necessary to know whether a given chemical reaction produces heat or absorbs heat (exothermic or endothermic). Also of importance is to determine the amount of energy that is either released or absorbed. One way to obtain the needed information is to perform experiments. A common apparatus that can be used for this purpose is a chemical reactor. A chemical reactor is often no more than a pipe. The chemicals that are to be reacted have to be conveyed to the reactor to ensure accurate results. As an example of the need for precise control, let us focus attention on the formation reaction of CO 2 . C + O 2 CO 2 (1) If a chemist or chemical engineer were to read this equation, they would call the carbon and the oxygen the reactants . Also, they would call the carbon dioxide the product . Furthermore, they would describe the equation as saying that one mole of carbon and one mole of molecular oxygen produce one mole of carbon dioxide. The ideal situation for high accuracy is to have the oxygen flowing uniformly across the inlet to the reactor and to have the carbon, in powder form, uniformly disbursed throughout the oxygen. Such a uniform dispersion would enable the reaction to proceed efficiently, it is important that provisions be made to achieve such uniformity. This is not an easy task, and it merits discussion in class. With regard to the oxygen flow, strict cross-sectional uniformity is impossible, and it is necessary to accept this fact. At best, efforts should be made to make certain that the flow is axisymmetric.
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