This paper studies the ignition processes of two biodiesel from two different feedstock sources, namely waste cooked oil (WCO) and palm oil (PO). They were investigated using the direct photography through high-speed video observations and detailed chemical kinetics. The detailed chemical kinetics modeling was carried out to complement data acquired using the high-speed video observations.For the high-speed video observations, an image intensifier combined with OH* filter connected to a high-speed video camera was used to obtain OH* chemiluminscence image near 313 nm. The OH* images were used to obtain the experimental ignition delay of the biodiesel fuels. For the high-speed video observations, experiments were done at an injection pressure of 100, 200 and 300 MPa using a 0.16 mm injector nozzle. Also a detailed chemical kinetics for the biodiesel fuels was carried out using ac chemical kinetics solver adopting a 0-D reactor model to obtain the chemical ignition delay of the combusting fuels. Equivalence ratios obtained from the experimental ignition delay were used for the detailed chemical kinetics analyses. The Politecnico di Milano's thermochemical and reaction kinetic data were adopted to simulate the ignition processes of the biodiesels using the five fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) major components in the biodiesel fuels. From the high-speed video observations, it was observed that at increasing injection pressure, experimental ignition delay increased as a result of improvement in fuel and air mixing effects. Also the palm oil biodiesel has a shorter ignition delay compared to waste cooked oil biodiesel. This phenomenon could be attributed to the higher cetane number of palm biodiesel. The fuel spray ignition properties depend on both the physical ignition delay and chemical ignition delay. From the detailed chemical kinetic results it was observed that at the low temperature, high ambient pressure conditions reactivity increased as equivalent ratio increased. PO has a higher reactivity and this make its chemical ignition delay shorter as compared to WCO. This was attributed to the higher percentage of straight fully saturated chain methyl ester, i.e., methyl palmitate (C16:0) in PO. As injection pressure increases, physical delay, which is the difference between the experimental ignition delay and chemical ignition delay, decreases. As a result of inferior atomization PO biodiesel has longer physical delay compared to WCO. Hence it took longer time for PO biodiesel to achieve mixing prior to chemical ignition delay.
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