Characterization of atomization and combustion in moderately dense turbulent spray flames

Agissilaos Kourmatzis*, Phuong X. Pham, Assaad R. Masri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a study of spray jets and flames where the liquid fuel loading in the carrier air is such that there are substantial liquid-liquid interactions close to the exit plane. The burner consists of an air-blast atomizer located within a wide hot co-flow used to stabilize turbulent auto-igniting spray flames. Laser/phase Doppler anemometry, microscopic backlit imaging coupled with advanced image processing, broadband chemiluminescence and OH-PLIF imaging are utilized. A key focus here is on a novel characterization of the spray boundary condition in terms of non-spherical shapes of fluid fragments. Three different classes of shapes, namely: ligaments, droplets, and large, generally irregular objects are examined. Statistics for each of these fragments are computed in a range of sprays and it is found that their size and probability of occurence depends on the initial Weber number and fuel/air mass ratio (. F/. A). The change in chemiluminescence emission that is measured as a function of the F/. A ratio trends in the same manner as the change in the size of the largest non-spherical objects in the spray. In addition, it is found that changes in the growth of reaction zone width occur as estimated from OH images of laser induced fluorescence, and this is also controlled by the F/. A ratio. Therefore, the spray structure at the exit plane may partly dictate the downstream flame characteristics; and this could be largely due to the presence of non-spherical fragments and hence the different rates of atomization and vapourization amongst the different sprays. The burner, as well as the classification of the spray introduced here, while complex, can form a platform for the improvement of models for moderately dense reacting sprays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-996
Number of pages19
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomization
  • Spray combustion
  • Turbulence
  • Image processing


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