Plasma assisted combustion is a very active research field due to the potential of using the technology to improve combustion efficiency and decrease pollutant emission by stabilizing lean burning flames. It has been shown in a number of studies that a small amount of electrical energy can be deposited in the flame by applying microwaves, resulting in enhanced flame propagation and thus improved flame stabilization and delayed lean blow-out. However, the effects have not yet been properly quantified since there are significant experimental challenges related to the determination of both the laminar burning velocity and the electric field strength. In the present work, a novel setup is described, where a well-defined burner system is coupled to a microwave cavity. The burner is of heat flux type, where a flat laminar flame is stabilized on a perforated burner head. The advantage of this burner for the current use is that the method and related uncertainties are well studied and quantified, and the geometry is suitable for coupling with the microwave cavity. The setup, experimental procedure, and data analysis are described in detail in this article. Laminar burning velocity for a methane-air flame at ϕ = 0.7 is determined to certify that the burner works properly in the microwave cavity. The flame is then exposed to pulsed microwaves at 1 kHz with a pulse duration of 50 µs. The laminar burning velocity at these conditions is determined to be 18.4 cm/s, which is an increase by about 12% compared to the laminar burning velocity that is measured without microwave exposure. The setup shows potential for further investigations of lean flames subjected to various microwave pulse sequences. The data are of high quality with well-defined uncertainties and are therefore suitable to use for validation of chemical kinetics models.

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