Recent laboratory studies of droplet combustion indicate the potential for substantial gas phase particulate formation even with single component hydrocarbon fuels. Formation of large particles has been observed in the neighborhood of burning droplet arrays, particularly when the droplets are closely spaced. To provide insight into the potential for particulate formation during the combustion of fuel droplet sprays in gas turbine combustors, a mathematical framework is developed for examining the formation of soot nuclei in droplet combustion. A simplified model of the chemistry of fuel pyrolysis and nuclei formation is used and a series of calculations is made to explore the sensitivity of soot nuclei formation to conditions typical of gas turbine combustion systems.

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