Sensitivity analyses of biodiesel thermo-physical properties under diesel engine conditions

Xinwei Cheng, Hoon Kiat Ng, Suyin Gan, Jee Hou Ho, Kar Mun Pang

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This reported work investigates the sensitivities of spray and soot developments to the change of thermo-physical properties for coconut and soybean methyl esters, using two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics fuel spray modelling. The choice of test fuels made was due to their contrasting saturation-unsaturation compositions. The sensitivity analyses for non-reacting and reacting sprays were carried out against a total of 12 thermo-physical properties, at an ambient temperature of 900 K and density of 22.8 kg/m3. For the sensitivity analyses, all the thermo-physical properties were set as the baseline case and each property was individually replaced by that of diesel. The significance of individual thermo-physical property was determined based on the deviations found in predictions such as liquid penetration, ignition delay period and peak soot concentration when compared to those of baseline case. Among all the properties, latent heat of vaporisation produced the greatest effect on the spray and soot developments under the tested conditions, as evidenced by a longer liquid penetration of 35.0% and a reduced peak soot concentration of 22.8%. Besides, coupled effects among the thermo-physical properties were also determined. Meanwhile, the effects of thermo-physical properties were found to vary with the addition of unsaturation levels and chemical kinetics in the simulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-352
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Biodiesel
  • CFD (Computational fluid dynamics)
  • Spray
  • Thermo-physical properties


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