Employing a mixture or an emulsion of water and diesel fuel is considered a way to reduce gas emissions such as NOx and soot in a gas turbine. This study presents detailed experimental results on the spray characteristics of a water-diesel emulsion injected by a pressure swirl atomizer with a 90-degree spray angle and a flow number of 0.58 under a non-reacting environment at high pressure and temperature conditions. Acquiring this data is a key step when configuring a combustor that will employ emulsified fuels. In addition, this study seeks to confirm that the emulsion stays intact when it gets sprayed into the combustor. Furthermore, this study attempts to understand if a water-diesel emulsion prepared by a sonicator improves fuel atomization as compared to a water-diesel mixture prepared by a static mixer, i.e., not a proper emulsion.

Tests are conducted in a high pressure and temperature testing facility at two ambient pressure and three ambient temperature conditions and the mass-based water to diesel ratio (W/D) is varied from 11% to 100%. Phase Doppler Particle Anemometry (PDPA) is employed to measure the spray characteristics. Through a backlit high-speed photography, overall spray patterns over different test conditions are visualized. Mie-scattering and planar laser-induced fluorescence imaging are utilized to visualize the mixture field.

In general, the results indicate that emulsion stays intact as it gets sprayed into the combustor; and emulsion is a better solution to reduce emissions than a statically mixed mixture.

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