Study of puffing and micro-explosion during the evaporation of Arabian light oil droplets

Although the suspended droplet evaporation and combustion have been studied for decades, fundamental research pertaining to the stochastic phenomena of complex multicomponent mixtures is extremely rare. In this work, an experimental suspended droplet study of Arabian light oil was held to study the frequency of puffing and micro-explosion phenomena during the evaporation/pyrolysis process. The experiments were conducted at three different evaporation temperatures (350 C, 440 C, and 570 C), chosen in accordance with the TGA profle obtained. The suspended droplet experiments were conducted on a furnace with optical access and a gas controlled-preheating system. The droplet size was optically registered at 500 fps by a LaVision Imager Pro HS high-speed camera coupled with a magnification lens Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105 mm. Furthermore, a computer-vision data postprocessing program was developed to identify contours and measure the size of the objects in the frame in order to register the temporal evolution of the droplet size. Additionally, a new approach for characterizing the droplet vaporization of complex multi-component fuels is proposed. This method allowed us to study the continuum (ideal evaporation) and stochastic processes separately, by following the profile of the average normalized square diameter ((D=D0)2) and quantifying the breakup intensity (β) of each stochastic event. Based on the behavior of (D=D0)2, two consecutive stages were identified at every temperature investigated, the swelling and the regression stage. At 350 ◦C and 440 ◦C, the evaporation was finally controlled purely by the diffusion evaporation, whereas at 570 ◦C a pure diffusion stage was not spotted. Instead, a second swelling was registered, where an amorphous carbonaceous structure was formed. Due to the pyrolysis of the heavy hydrocarbons dominated the process. The stochastic events involved during the evaporation were successfully identified and classified in breakup modes depending on their β. Additionally, the effect of the temperature on the breakup events was assessed. Showing that the number of breakup events increased exponentially with temperature.

Restrepo-Cano, J. (2019). Study of puffing and micro-explosion during the evaporation of Arabian light oil droplets. KAUST Research Repository.


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