The effects of jet fuel composition on ignition probability have been studied in a flowfield that is relevant to turbine engine combustors, but also fundamental and conducive to modeling. In the experiments, a spark kernel is ejected from a wall and propagates transversely into a crossflow. The kernel first encounters an air-only stream before transiting into a second, flammable (premixed) stream. The two streams have matched velocities, as verified by hot-wire measurements. The liquid fuels span a range of physical and chemical kinetic properties. To focus on their chemical differences, the fuels are prevaporized in a carrier air flow before being injected into the experimental facility. Ignition probabilities at atmospheric pressure and elevated crossflow temperature were determined from optical measurements of a large number of spark events, and high-speed imaging was used to characterize the kernel evolution. Eight fuel blends were tested experimentally; all exhibited increasing ignition probability as equivalence ratio increased, at least up to the maximum value studied (∼0.8). Statistically significant differences between fuels were measured that have some correlation with fuel properties. To elucidate these trends, the forced ignition process was also studied with a reduced-order numerical model of an entraining kernel. The simulations suggest ignition is successful if sufficient heat release occurs before entrainment of colder crossflow fluid quenches the exothermic oxidation reactions. As the kernel is initialized in air, it remains extremely lean during the initial entrainment of the fuel–air mixture; thus, richer crossflows lead to quicker and higher exothermicity.

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