The gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuel, a liquid fuel synthesized from natural gas through Fischer–Tropsch process, exhibits better combustion and, in turn, lower emission characteristics than the conventional jet fuels. However, the GTL fuel has different fuel properties than those of regular jet fuels, which could potentially affect its atomization and combustion aspects. The objective of the present work is to investigate the near-nozzle atomization characteristics of GTL fuel and compare them with those of the conventional Jet A-1 fuel. The spray experiments are conducted at different nozzle operating conditions under standard ambient conditions. The near-nozzle macroscopic spray characteristics are determined from the shadowgraph images. Near the nozzle exit, a thorough statistical analysis shows that the liquid sheet dynamics of GTL fuel is different from that of Jet A-1 fuel. However, further downstream, the microscopic spray characteristics of GTL fuel are comparable to those of the Jet A-1 fuel.

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