Experimental study of flash boiling spray with isooctane, hexane, ethanol and their binary mixtures

Junhao Yan, Suya Gao, Wenchuan Liu, Tairan Chen, Timothy H. Lee, Chia Fon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main objective of this study is to understand the effect of fuel properties on flash boiling sprays using multi-hole injectors. Macroscopic characteristics were investigated using Diffused Backlight Imaging (DBI) and quantified with liquid penetration length and spray angles. Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA) was applied to measure the droplet size and velocity. Behaviors of spray with three single-component fuels (isooctane, hexane, ethanol) under different ambient pressures (100 kPa, 80 kPa, 50 kPa, 22 kPa) as well as their binary mixtures under different blend ratios (10%, 30%, 85%) were reported and analyzed. The results showed that adding ethanol or hexane to isooctane could both promote flash boiling by increasing the overall vapor pressure thus superheated degree. Under mixing ratios of 10% and 30%, sprays with ethanol blends showed more severe flash boiling comparing with sprays with hexane blends. Shorter liquid penetration and better liquid dispersion have been observed. Comparing with isooctane spray, the droplet size continuously decreased with increasing hexane content due to enhanced breakup and faster vaporization. Sprays with ethanol mixtures showed a different trend. Noticeable droplet size reduction has been observed for spray with 10% ethanol content. However, droplet size did not further decrease with higher blend ratios regardless of higher flash boiling intensity. Such observations indicate severe vaporization inhibition caused by the high latent heat of vaporization of ethanol. For sprays with all test fuels, collapsing occurred when the pressure ratio of ambient pressure to saturation pressure (Rp) dropped below 0.3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120415
StatePublished - May 15 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Droplet size
  • Ethanol
  • Flash boiling spray
  • Multi-component fuel
  • Spray collapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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