Puffing/micro-explosion in composite fuel/water droplets heated in flames

Dmitrii Antonov, Roman Fedorenko, Pavel Stryzhak, Zuhaib Nissar, Sergei Sazhin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results of new experimental and theoretical investigations of puffing and
micro-explosion of rapeseed oil/water droplets placed in ethanol and propane/butane mixture flames are presented. It is pointed out that time to puffing/microexplosion increases with increasing initial droplet radii in both flames. This time is always shorter for a propane/butane mixture flame (with maximal temperature 1,450 K) than for an ethanol flame (with maximal temperature 1,120 K). The experimental results are interpreted in terms of a simplified model of the phenomenon, in which it is assumed that a spherical water subdroplet is placed exactly in the centre of a spherical fuel droplet. The start of puffing/micro-explosion is linked with the time instant when the temperature at the water/rapeseed oil interface reaches the water nucleation temperature. The contributions of thermal radiation and supporting wire are taken into account for the first time for the analysis of the phenomena. It is shown that the model predictions agree with experimental data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111599
Number of pages33
JournalCombustion and Flame
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work on this paper was supported by National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (project VIU-ISHFVP-60/2019 ) (contribution by P.A. Strizhak), Scholarships from the President of the Russian Federation (grants nos. SP-447.2021.1 and MN-7/2260) (contributions by D.V. Antonov and R.M. Fedorenko), the Centre for Automotive Research and Electric Mobility (CAREM) of the Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) (supported by the Ministry of Higher Education Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) (Grant FRGS/1/ 2017/TK10/UTP/01/2) and UTP Graduate Assistantship (GA) scheme) (contribution by Z. Nissar) and the Royal Society (UK) (Grant no. IEC 192007) (contribution by S.S. Sazhin).


  • Ethanol flame
  • Micro-explosions
  • Propane/butane mixture flame
  • Puffing
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Thermal radiation


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