Basic ignition, evaporation and combustion behavior of liquid fuel droplets containing metal nanoparticles is experimentally investigated. The addition of metal nanoparticles enhances the ignition and evaporation of the liquid fuel droplets, even at low volume fraction of the nanoparticles (0.1% to 0.5%). These enhancements were, however, independent of the amount, type and size of the nanoparticles and limited to ignition and low temperature evaporation conditions. At higher temperatures, evaporation and combustion rates of the liquid droplets were not significantly affected by addition of nanoparticles. The data suggest, therefore, that the primary role of nanoparticles is in enhancing the thermal diffusion during initiation phase (ignition and low-temperature evaporation) where even in very small amounts addition of nanoparticles increases the ignition probability and evaporation rates.

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