Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.59, No.24, 5987-5995, 2004
Effervescent atomization under sub-sonic and choked conditions - A theoretical approach
Spray formation of a bi-component mixture under sub- and choked-flow conditions has been studied. Special attention has been drawn to the processes inside the atomizer, i.e., the expansion chamber and two orifices. The relevant processes, which include the pressure drop at the inlet orifice, nuclei formation, bubble growth inside the expansion chamber, pressure drop at the discharge orifice, the velocity slip between the bubbles and the liquid bulk, and the flow regime (sub- and choked-flow) at the discharge orifice, have been analyzed by using a one-dimensional model approach. Three different operating regions have been identified. In the 1st, when the inlet to discharge orifices' diameter ratio is small, subsonic flow is anticipated, and no noticeable slip between the bubbles and the bulk liquid is expected. As the orifices' diameter ratio increases, the slip becomes more and more significant (2nd region). When the pressure at the expansion chamber exceeds the critical pressure, the flow chokes, and the slip maximizes. Further increase results in maximum slip (3rd region). The two main roles of the expansion chamber were described: (a) to provide the required time for the bubbles to grow till one bubble touches the other, and (b) to provide the discharge orifice with a well-mixed mixture to allow dominant flashing enhanced by shear stress disintegration. Optimized operation conditions for best atomization, optimized expansion chamber volume, and optimized orifices' diameter ratio are proposed in terms of the thermodynamic properties of the mixture. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.