Sensitivity analyses of biodiesel thermo-physical properties under diesel engine conditions

Xinwei Cheng, Hoon Kiat Ng*, Suyin Gan, Jee Hou Ho, Kar Mun Pang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This reported work investigates the sensitivities of spray and soot developments to the change of thermo-physical properties for coconut and soybean methyl esters, using two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics fuel spray modelling. The choice of test fuels made was due to their contrasting saturation-unsaturation compositions. The sensitivity analyses for non-reacting and reacting sprays were carried out against a total of 12 thermo-physical properties, at an ambient temperature of 900 K and density of 22.8 kg/m3. For the sensitivity analyses, all the thermo-physical properties were set as the baseline case and each property was individually replaced by that of diesel. The significance of individual thermo-physical property was determined based on the deviations found in predictions such as liquid penetration, ignition delay period and peak soot concentration when compared to those of baseline case. Among all the properties, latent heat of vaporisation produced the greatest effect on the spray and soot developments under the tested conditions, as evidenced by a longer liquid penetration of 35.0% and a reduced peak soot concentration of 22.8%. Besides, coupled effects among the thermo-physical properties were also determined. Meanwhile, the effects of thermo-physical properties were found to vary with the addition of unsaturation levels and chemical kinetics in the simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
Early online date21 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Ministry of Higher Education (MOE) Malaysia is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support towards this project under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) FRGS/1/2011/TK/UNIM/02/1. The authors also wish to thank Dr. L. M. Pickett and Dr. J.-G. Nerva for providing additional (processed) data for model validation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Biodiesel
  • CFD (Computational fluid dynamics)
  • Spray
  • Thermo-physical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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