Combustion and emission performances of coconut, palm and soybean methyl esters under reacting spray flame conditions

Meng Choung Chiong, Cheng Tung Chong, Jo Han Ng, Manh Vu Tran, Su Shiung Lam, Agustin Valera-Medina, Mohammad Nazri Mohd Jaafar

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The spray combustion characteristics of coconut (CME), palm (PME) and soybean (SME) biodiesels/methyl esters were compared with diesel by using an axial swirl flame burner. Atomisation of the liquid fuels was achieved via an airblast-type nozzle with varied atomising air-to-liquid ratios (ALR) of 2–2.5. The fully developed sprays were mixed with strongly swirled air to form combustible mixtures prior to igniting at the burner outlet. Under fuel-lean condition, biodiesel spray flames exhibited bluish flame core without the yellowish sooty flame brush, indicating low sooting tendency as compared to baseline diesel. Increasing the atomising air led to the reduction of flame length but increase in flame intensity. Measurements of post-combustion emissions show that SME produced higher NO as compared to CME and PME due to higher degree of unsaturation, while the most saturated CME showed the lowest NO and CO emissions amongst the biodiesels tested across all equivalence ratios. By preheating the main swirl air to 250 °C, higher emissions of NO, CO and CO2 were observed for biodiesels. Higher ALR led to reduced NO and CO emissions regardless of the fuel used, making it a viable strategy to resolve the simultaneous NO[sbnd]CO reduction conundrum. This work shows that despite different emission characteristics exhibited by biodiesels produced from different feedstock, they are in principle potential supplemental fuels for practical combustion systems. The pollutants emitted can be mitigated by operating at higher ALR in a twin-fluid based swirl combustor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1044
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Energy Institute
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Biodiesel
  • Coconut
  • Palm
  • Soy
  • Spray flame

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