A probabilistic model of thermal explosion in polydisperse fuel spray

Ophir Nave, Vitcheslav Bykov, Vladimir Gol'Dshtein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This work is concerned with an analysis of polydisperse spray droplets distribution on the thermal explosion processes. In many engineering applications it is usual to relate to the practical polydisperse spray as a monodisperse spray. The Sauter Mean Diameter (SMD) and its variations are frequently used for this purpose [13]. The SMD and its modifications depend only on "integral" characterization of polydisperse sprays and can be the same for very different types of polydisperse spray distributions. The current work presents a new, simplified model of the thermal explosion in a combustible gaseous mixture containing vaporizing fuel droplets of different radii (polydisperse). The polydispersity is modeled using a probability density function (PDF) that corresponds to the initial distribution of fuel droplets size. This approximation of polydisperse spray is more accurate than the traditional 'parcel' approximation and permits an analytical treatment of the simplified model. Since the system of the governing equations represents a multi-scale problem, the method of invariant (integral) manifolds is applied. An explicit expression of the critical condition for thermal explosion limit is derived analytically. Numerical simulations demonstrate an essential dependence of these thermal explosion conditions on the PDF type and represent a natural generalization of the thermal explosion conditions of the classical Semenov theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2698-2709
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Mathematics and Computation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2010


  • Autoignition fuel spray
  • Method of integral manifolds
  • Sauter mean diameter
  • Thermal explosion limit


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