Natural luminosity images from reacting diesel sprays were acquired in a combustion-type constant-volume spray chamber. Using an ambient condition of 15 kg/m3 and 1000 K, the effects of peak injection pressures (60, 90 and 150 MPa) and nozzle hole sizes (140, 158 and 200 μm) were investigated. From high-speed natural luminosity cinematography, macroscopic reacting spray characteristics such as flame lift-off height and ignition delay time were obtained. For increasing injection pressures the ignition delay time decreased, and the flame lift off height increased. For increasing hole diameter the ignition time delay decreased, and the flame lift-off height decreased. The authors’ previous results of the fuel concentration measurement from non-reacting spray experiments were used to ascertain the local equivalence ratio for the reacting spray during the ignition and initial flame development period. The first detection of the luminosity (believed to be chemiluminescence) signal was found to occur in fuel-rich vapor regions near the boundary of the liquid core with an equivalence ratio near 2 and a temperature of approximately 800 K. These conditions were found to be independent of injection pressure and nozzle diameter for the condition tested (15 kg/m3 and 1000 K ambient), suggesting that this is a kinetically controlled process.

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