Demands of energy will increase worldwide. The use of alternative and renewable energy resources is an attractive option to counteract climate change connected with the burning of fossil fuels. Moreover, improvements in fuel flexibility are a pre-requisite to meet the challenge of a sustainable production of energy in the near future. Within this context, oxygenated molecules, in particular ethers are of high interest because they can be produced renewably. In addition, ethers are promising considerably reduced emissions of particles and soot. In future, ethers might play a role as an alternative fuel (blend) for power generation in gas turbines and in the transport sector.

Dimethylether (DME: CH3OCH3) and oxymethylenether (OMEn: CH3O(CH2O)nCH3) are regarded as some of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels, in particular in compression ignition engines.

In this work, we report on a combined experimental and modeling study: The oxidation of mixtures of dimethylether as well as of the simplest oxymethylenether (OME1) was investigated. The focus was put on two fundamental combustion properties: (i) ignition delay times measured in a shock tube device, at ambient and elevated pressures up to 16 bar, for stoichiometric mixtures, and (ii) laminar flame speed data, at ambient and elevated pressures up to 6 bar, determined for OME1. The experimental data base was used for the validation of several detailed chemical-kinetic reaction mechanisms taken from literature. Sensitivity analysis was performed for the two selected targets to allow a better insight into the oxidation network within the envisaged wide parameter range.

The findings of the present work will contribute to a better understanding of the combustion of these specific ethers, and to the design and optimization of burners and engines as well.

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