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research-article

TWIN-FLUID ATOMIZED SPRAY COMBUSTION OF STRAIGHT VEGETABLE OIL AT ELEVATED PRESSURES

[+] Author and Article Information
Yonas Niguse

University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette Louisiana 70503, USA
ygn1575@louisiana.edu

Dr. Ajay Agrawal

The University of Alabama, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tuscaloosa Alabama 35487, USA
aagrawal@eng.ua.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040286 History: Received April 27, 2018; Revised May 05, 2018

Abstract

The effect of chamber pressure on combustion of a twin-fluid-atomized spray of straight vegetable oil (VO) in a swirl stabilized combustion system is experimentally studied. A system with high pressure capabilities was developed, and flame and emissions characteristics of VO are investigated at elevated pressures, up to about 5 bars, different heat release rates and atomizing air to liquid ratio (ALR) by mass. An image analysis technique was developed to infer flame and soot characteristics from visual images acquired by a digital camera. Increase in ALR resulted in improved combustion characterized by blue flames, lower CO and NOx emissions, and minimal soot formation. For a given fuel flow rate, an increase in pressure resulted in smaller volume flames with lower CO levels but higher NOx emissions. Diesel flame and emission characteristic are also compared with straight VO results at select operating conditions. Compared to diesel, as pressure increased, straight VO flames produced lower NOx and more voluminous flames characterized by more distributed combustion with less soot formation. Overall, straight VO could be atomized and combusted at elevated pressures using the twin-fluid atomizer of the present study, and resulting VO flames exhibited less sensitivity to chamber pressure variations.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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