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# Simple stoichiometric equation help.

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1. Simple stoichiometric equation help.
I have a base mineral oil that is described as C15-C50 and I am trying to work out its limiting oxygen concentration (LOC). I have a quoted Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) of 1-10% (broad I know).

My (amateurish) calculations thus far have gone like this:

C15H32 + 23O2 --> 15CO2 + 16H2O [Limiting Case]

and

2C50H102 + 101O2 --> 100CO2 + 102H20

Using the limiting case in the equation LEL * y/x = LOC (found on the internet) where x is the (hydrocarbon) fuel coefficient and y is the oxygen coefficient I get this:

1 * 23/1 = 23% oxygen by volume in nitrogen.

My question is: "is this really correct or have I done something wrong?"

2. Simple stoichiometric equation help.
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3. Re: Simple stoichiometric equation help.
Unfortunately you are highly likely to get some incomplete combustion, even in an explosion (the yellow explosion flame itself indicates the presence of unburned carbon)

The complexities of this probably make it imposible to accurately calculate the exact LOC or LEL. It will however be substantially lower than your expected based one complete combustion.

The quoted range probably reflects both this and the fact that the exact composition of the mineral oil will vary somewhat from batch to batch, with different proportions of the hydrocarbons.

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Last updated: August 2, 2012
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