Characterization of water droplets size distribution in aviation turbine fuel: Ultrasonic homogeniser vs. High shear speed mixer
Pumps, pressure drops across fittings, and flight operations (such as turning manoeuvres, take-off, and landing) are some of the many sources of turbulence mixing and shearing in aircraft fuel systems, therefore, making it an inevitable condition. Literature established that shearing conditions would influence the droplets and droplets size distribution in oil/water emulsion. So, low intensity shearing conditions could be beneficial as it promotes droplet coalescence, which could be a driving force for a weak emulsion. However, to date no experimental data shows the influence homogenising intensity and total water content has on dispersed water droplet size distribution (DSD) in aviation fuel. Therefore, to expand knowledge of improving quantification to the measurements of dispersed water droplets in aviation fuel, this study characterizes dispersed water droplets in aviation turbine fuel, varying available laboratory homogenising gadget and water content. Results presented shows that droplet count increases with water concentration and shearing effect. To provide more statistical evidence, kurtosis and skew values was calculated from the extrapolated data and compared with data from a hexanol/water mixture given that hexanol is likely to form a stable emulsion. Experimental results shows that the higher the homogenising intensity the more stable the emulsion is likely to be with a higher kurtosis and skew value close to that for the hexanol/water mixture.