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Title: Insights on the morphology of air-assisted breakup of urea-water-solution sprays for varying surface tension
Authors: Kulkarni, A
Megaritis, A
Ganippa, L
Keywords: Urea-water solution;Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system;High-speed visualization;Atomization;Drop-Size Distribution;Surface tension
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Kulkarni AP, Megaritis T, Ganippa LC. Insights on the morphology of air-assisted breakup of urea-water-solution sprays for varying surface tension. International Journal of Multiphase Flow. 2020 Sep 5:103448.
Abstract: The efficacy of NOx reduction in diesel engines is mainly dependent on how uniformly urea-water solutions (UWS) are dispersed onto the catalyst surface of the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems. The urea-based SCR systems also suffer drawbacks due to the formation of urea deposits onto the walls of after-treatment devices due to poor atomization characteristics of UWS. In this work, the impact of lowering the surface tension of UWS on the morphology of UWS sprays was explored using high-speed shadowgraph imaging techniques. The surface tension of UWS was lowered by adding surfactants; two surfactants viz., Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) and Dodecyl-Dimethyl-Amine-oxide (DDA) were considered in this investigation. The surface tension of UWS was reduced to a maximum from 73.7 to 30.2 mN/m and 39.8 mN/m with the addition of DDA and SDS respectively at 75% of its respective Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) in UWS. Even at a very low-pressure difference of 500 mbar of co-flowing air, the surfactant-added UWS tends to break-up relatively closer to the nozzle tip due to flapping-induced bag breakup, which improved its drop-size distribution. Under a relatively higher pressure difference of 2000 mbar of co-flow atomizing air, the liquid breakup was mostly due to surface stripping in surfactant-added UWS sprays that generated a large number of fine droplets. The image analyses of sprays were performed at far downstream locations from the nozzle to quantify the variations of their droplet-sizes caused by varying the surface tension of UWS. The surfactants added UWS sprays revealed a considerably narrower drop-size distribution by up to 43% compared to UWS sprays under high-pressure conditions, and this was due to a combination of flapping-induced bag breakup, surface stripping and secondary atomization of big droplets caused by reducing the surface tension of UWS. Reducing the surface tension of UWS has the potential to improve NOx reduction in SCR systems due to the reduction in droplet sizes of UWS sprays and also to reduce the formation of urea deposits.
ISSN: 0301-9322
Appears in Collections:Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Research Papers

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