Combustion of liquid-fuel droplets in supercritical conditions

J. S. Shuen, Vigor Yang, C. C. Hsiao

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107 Citations (Scopus)


A comprehensive analysis of liquid-fuel droplet combustion in both subcritical and supercritical environments has been conducted. The formulation is based on the complete conservation equations for both gas and liquid phases, and accommodates variable thermophysical properties, finite-rate chemical kinetics, and a full treatment of liquid-vapor phase equilibrium at the droplet surface. The governing equations and associated interfacial boundary conditions are solved numerically using a fully coupled, implicit scheme with the dual time-stepping integration technique. The model is capable of treating the entire droplet history, including the transition from the subcritical to supercritical state. As a specific example, the combustion of n-pentane fuel droplets in air is studied for pressures in the range of 5-140 atm. Results indicate that the ambient gas pressure exerts significant control of droplet gasification and burning processes through its influence on fluid transport, gas-liquid interfacial thermodynamics, and chemical reactions. The droplet gasification rate increases progressively with pressure. However, the data for the overall burnout time exhibit a considerable change in the combustion mechanism at the critical pressure, mainly as a result of reduced mass diffusivity and latent heat of vaporization with increased pressure. The influence of droplet size on the burning characteristics is also noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-319
Number of pages21
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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