Droplet combustion behavior of oxidatively degraded methyl laurate and methyl oleate in microgravity

Shion Ando, Yuxiang Wu, Shinji Nakaya, Mitsuhiro Tsue

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Droplet combustion behavior of degraded and non-degraded fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) were studied under microgravity condition. Accelerated oxidation tests were conducted for methyl laurate (LME) and methyl oleate (OME) as representatives of FAME, and the changes in viscosities and compositions were evaluated. The Rancimat method was employed for oxidizing fuels at 100 °C for 6 or 24 h. The viscosities and compositions were measured with an Ubbelohde viscometer and a gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC–MS), respectively. Results showed that various oxidation products were formed only for OME during the oxidation test, and the amounts increased with an increase in the oxidation time. In addition, viscosities of degraded OME were higher than those of non-degraded OME, which would be attributable to the formation of oxidation products. Subsequently, the droplet combustion experiment was performed at 0.1 MPa, 750 °C in CO2-rich atmosphere under microgravity. Droplet combustion behavior was analyzed in terms of evolutions of droplet diameter squared and the instantaneous burning rate. As a result, the instantaneous burning rate of LME maintained almost constant during its combustion period as well as n-decane, which indicates that the behavior of instantaneous burning rate was not influenced by the difference in fuel properties between hydrocarbon and unsaturated FAME. In contrast, the droplet of degraded OME exhibited puffing during the evaporation and combustion periods. This indicates that oxidation products with various volatilities were formed in the degraded fuels, which resulted in puffing. As oxidation proceeded, the release rate of liquid and vapor by puffing decreased owing to the increased viscosity, which causes puffing more frequently. Furthermore, the time of bubble formation increased with an increase in the initial droplet diameter owing to an increase of the heat capacity of the droplet. On the contrary, the time of bubble formation did not vary drastically with the oxidation time, which was probably owing to a limited change in the heat capacity during the oxidation test. This study addresses the droplet burning behavior of LMEs and OMEs with an emphasis on the effects of oxidation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalCombustion and Flame
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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