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Ultra-Fine Spray System for Clean Fuel-Flexible Combustion and other Fine Atomization Applications

Fine and efficient atomization of liquids with small droplets is indispensable for many industrial applications including fuel sprays for combustion, fire suppression, food processing, medical use such as asthma nebulizers, and atomization of viscous polymer, etc. Combustion of liquid fuels supplies most of the energy for power generation and propulsion for transportation. Fine fuel sprays lead to faster fuel pre-vaporization, better fuel-air mixing and thus, clean and efficient premixed flames. Stricter emission standards necessitate cleaner and efficient consumption of fossil fuels and exploration of biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) . Biodiesel reduces roughly 90% of GHGs. However, both biofuel’s high production cost and varying fuel properties (by converting viscous source oils) limit the broad application in existing combustion systems that are only effective for low-viscosity conventional fuels. Fortunately, a research group at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) has developed a novel fuel-flexible injector
with superior atomization and lower injection pressure, resulting in cleaner combustion of fossil fuels with enhanced efficiency. Furthermore, the novel injection results in clean premixed flames of highly viscous and heavy source oils (eg. algae oil) of biodiesel and waste product – glycerol, without fuel preheating or hardware modification, eliminating the cost of converting source oils and thus enabling cost-effective biofuels. Overall, the novel fuel-flexible injector responds to varying fuel policies with improved efficiency and lower emissions.

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