Effects of temporally varying liquid-phase mass diffusivity in multicomponent droplet gasification

Huiqiang Q. Zhang, Chung K. Law

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The relative roles of liquid-phase diffusional resistance and volatility differential in multicomponent droplet gasification are revisited, recognizing that liquid-phase mass diffusivities can be substantially increased as the droplet is progressively heated upon initiation of gasification, leading to a corresponding substantial weakening of the diffusional resistance. Calculations performed using realistic and temperature-dependent thermal and mass diffusivities indeed substantiate this influence. In particular, the calculated results agree with the literature experimental data, indicating that the gasification mechanism of multicomponent fuels is intermediate between diffusion and distillation limits. Investigation was also performed on gasification at elevated pressures, recognizing that the liquid boiling point and hence the attainable droplet temperature would increase with increasing pressure, causing further weakening of the liquid-phase diffusional resistance. This possibility was again verified through calculated results, suggesting further departure from diffusion limit toward distillation limit behavior for gasification at high pressures. The study also found that diffusional resistance is stronger for the lighter, gasoline-like fuels as compared to the heavier, diesel-like fuels because the former have overall lower boiling points, lower attainable droplet temperatures, and hence lower mass diffusivities in spite of their lower molecular weights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-602
Number of pages10
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Distillation
  • Liquid mass diffusivity
  • Multicomponent droplet


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