Liquid fuel engines have many applications in today's world. Diesel, spark-ignition, and gas turbine engines, and furnaces are just a few of the many applications of liquid fuel sprays. With the rising cost of fuel and need for energy conservation it is imperative that more efficient engines be developed. Analyzing liquid fuel spray characteristics non-intrusively could unlock the door to powerful highly efficient engines in the future.
The vaporization of fuel is mandatory in liquid fuel combustion. Vaporization and the fuel to air ratio are important characteristics of the spark-ignition engine. Compression ignition is controlled by the parameters of the injected fuel spray. By developing an accurate non-intrusive method of measuring the fuel spray parameters, data collected could be used to develop fuel injection methods that increase the power output, and raise the fuel efficiency of an engine.
The infrared absorption method of determining fuel spray characteristics provides a non-intrusive method to measure vapor concentration, but little is known of its accuracy. The goal of this project, which is being sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is to develop an accurate method of measuring evaporating sprays and their spray distribution. The non- intrusive laser method uses the known absorption of hydro-carbon fuels at a wavelength of 3.39 microns to measure spray characteristics namely accurate quantitative measurements of the vapor phase.
Brenneke, Glenn, "Two-Phase Flow Measurement" (1991). Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience Program (OURE). 129.