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Journal of Combustion
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 121487, 13 pages
Research Article

Combustion Characteristics of Butane Porous Burner for Thermoelectric Power Generation

1Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2School of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia Engineering Campus, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia

Received 25 September 2014; Revised 11 March 2015; Accepted 24 March 2015

Academic Editor: Kalyan Annamalai

Copyright © 2015 K. F. Mustafa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study explores the utilization of a porous burner for thermoelectric power generation. The porous burner was tested with butane gas using two sets of configurations: single layer porcelain and a stacked-up double layer alumina and porcelain. Six PbSnTe thermoelectric (TE) modules with a total area of 54 cm2 were attached to the wall of the burner. Fins were also added to the cold side of the TE modules. Fuel-air equivalence ratio was varied between the blowoff and flashback limit and the corresponding temperature, current-voltage, and emissions were recorded. The stacked-up double layer negatively affected the combustion efficiency at an equivalence ratio of 0.20 to 0.42, but single layer porcelain shows diminishing trend in the equivalence ratio of 0.60 to 0.90. The surface temperature of a stacked-up porous media is considerably higher than the single layer. Carbon monoxide emission is independent for both porous media configurations, but moderate reduction was recorded for single layer porcelain at lean fuel-air equivalence ratio. Nitrogen oxides is insensitive in the lean fuel-air equivalence ratio for both configurations, even though slight reduction was observed in the rich region for single layer porcelain. Power output was found to be highly dependent on the temperature gradient.