Spray and combustion characteristics of pure hydrothermal liquefaction biofuel and mixture blends with diesel

Ziming Yang, Timothy H. Lee, Yikai Li, Wan Ting Chen, Yuanhui Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is the process in which biological compounds can be converted into biocrude diesel; various feedstocks, such as algae and wet biowaste, can be utilized. Almost 20 million dry tons of wet biowaste is deposited in U.S. municipal wastewaters annually. If recovered and converted into biodiesel, it can act as a massive source of renewable energy. Preliminary experiments on a diesel engine show that HTL fuel can achieve similar performance and emission levels to diesel. In order to further understand the influence of the HTL fuel properties, the HTL fuel and blends with diesel are observed in a constant volume chamber. Previously, 10% and 20% of the HTL fuel were blended with diesel by volume and demonstrated properties that roughly matched diesel in terms of combustion. In this study, 50% and 100% HTL fuel blends are tested on the same apparatus. It was discovered that the workability of HTL is almost the same as that of diesel and is less sensitive to ambient temperatures. When the ambient temperature is reduced from 1200 K to 800 K, the change ratio of ignition delay is only 62% of diesel. By analyzing the combustion process, it can be seen that there is no need to make major modifications to the engine control strategy if HTL fuel is applied to diesel engines. However, under low temperature and low oxygen conditions, the soot luminosity peak of HTL100 is 3.12 times than that of diesel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120498
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021


  • Combustion
  • Diesel
  • HTL biofuel
  • Soot luminosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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