Modelin combustion of multicomponent fuel droplets: formulation and application to transportation fuels
Vittilapuram Subramanian, Kannan
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The quasi-steady, spherically symmetric combustion of multicomponent isolated fuel droplets has been modeled using modified Shvab-Zeldovich variable mechanism. Newly developed modified Shvab-Zeldovich equations have been used to describe the gas phase reactions. Vapor-liquid equilibrium model has been applied to describe the phase change at the droplet surface. Constant gas phase specific heats are assumed. The liquid phase is assumed to be of uniform composition and temperature. Radiative heat transfer between the droplet and surroundings is neglected. The results of evaporation of gasoline with discrete composition of hydrocarbons have been presented. The evaporation rates seem to follow the pattern of volatility differentials. The evaporation rate constant was obtained as 0.344mm2/sec which compared well with the unsteady results of Reitz et al. The total evaporation time of the droplet at an ambience of 1000K was estimated to be around 0.63 seconds. Next, the results of evaporation of representative diesel fuels have been compared with previously reported experimental data. The previous experiments showed sufficient liquid phase diffusional resistance in the droplet. Numerical results are consistent with the qualitative behavior of the experiments. The quantitative deviation during the vaporization process can be attributed to the diffusion time inside the droplet which is unaccounted for in the model. Transient evaporation results have also been presented for the representative diesel droplets. The droplet temperature profile indicates that the droplet temperature does not reach an instantaneous steady state as in the case of single-component evaporation. To perform similar combustion calculations for multicomponent fuel droplets, no simple model existed prior to this work. Accordingly, a new simplified approximate mechanism for multicomponent combustion of fuel droplets has been developed and validated against several independent data sets. The new mechanism is simple enough to be used for computational studies of multicomponent droplets. The new modified Shvab-Zeldovich mechanism for multicomponent droplet combustion has been used to model the combustion characteristics of a binary alcohol-alkane droplet and validated against experimental data. Burn rate for the binary droplet of octanol-undecane was estimated to be 1.17mm2/sec in good concurrence with the experimental value of 0.952mm2/sec obtained by Law and Law. The model has then been used to evaluate the combustion characteristics of diesel fuels assuming only gas phase reactions. Flame sheet approximation has been invoked in the formulation of the model.