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The physics of water-in-oil emulsion droplet microexplosion/puffing has been investigated using high-fidelity interface-capturing simulation. Varying the dispersed-phase (water) sub-droplet size/location and the initiation location of explosive boiling (bubble formation), the droplet breakup processes have been well revealed. The bubble growth leads to local and partial breakup of the parent oil droplet, i.e., puffing. The water sub-droplet size and location determine the after-puffing dynamics. The boiling surface of the water sub-droplet is unstable and evolves further. Finally, the sub-droplet is wrapped by boiled water vapor and detaches itself from the parent oil droplet. When the water sub-droplet is small, the detachment is quick, and the oil droplet breakup is limited. When it is large and initially located toward the parent droplet center, the droplet breakup is more extensive. For microexplosion triggered by the simultaneous growth of multiple separate bubbles, each explosion is local and independent initially, but their mutual interactions occur at a later stage. The degree of breakup can be larger due to interactions among multiple explosions. These findings suggest that controlling microexplosion/puffing is possible in a fuel spray, if the emulsion-fuel blend and the ambient flow conditions such as heating are properly designed. The current study also gives us an insight into modeling the puffing and microexplosion of emulsion droplets and sprays.


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