Simulations of Fuel-Air Mixing in a 7 Element Lean Direct Injection (LDI) Aviation Combustor

Research output: NRELPresentation


The increased accessibility of commercial aviation to the general population has in-creased the conventional jet fuel consumption, thereby causing increased CO2 emissions. One of the strategies to reduce the environmental impact is to use sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). SAFs are jet fuels obtained from renewable resources such as biomass and waste streams such as plastics/municipal solid wastes. Even though the use of SAFs has been gaining importance over the last two decades, only a few numerical studies on their usage have been reported so far. In this study, two SAFs namely, Alcohol to Jet (ATJ) and Hydrotreated Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), are chosen and their use in a simple, Lead Direct Injection (LDI) combustor is studied. The focus of this study is limited to the thermo-chemical properties of the fuels and their impact on fuel distribution and evaporation. Hence, only non-reactive simulations are performed. A high accuracy, adaptive mesh refinement based low-Mach solver, PeleLMeX, is used for performing the simulations. The time-averaged flow results indicate faster evaporation of HEFA when compared to ATJ and Jet-A. The difference in fuel evaporation rates is attributed to the differences in fuel viscosity and surface tension properties and the concomitant variations in the fuel droplet size distributions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 13th U.S. National Combustion Meeting, 19-22 March 2023, College Station, Texas

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2C00-85689


  • adaptive mesh refinement
  • aviation combustor
  • lead direct injection
  • sustainable aviation fuels


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