Combustion studies for heavy crude oil in a porous matrix were made with nitrogen gas containing oxygen concentrations from 20.7 to 40.0 mole percent. The gas was injected into a linear combustion tube apparatus at a constant flux of 132 gas/hr ft2. Reactor pressure, produced gas analysis and temperatures were taken to provide basic and interpretive data for the comparison of combustion characteristics for each oxygen concentration.

Combustion theory indicates an increase in oxygen reaction rate as the partial pressure of the oxygen and fuel concentration increase. Other controlling variables include the combustion temperature, the activation energy and the Arrhenius constant or frequency factor. Our experiments indicated an increase in temperature, frontal advance rate, apparent hydrogen to carbon ratio and the amount of oxygen used to burn a pound of fuel. Fuel deposition studies using SEM micrographs indicated the fuel's association with clay materials present in the sand pack.

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