In this study, the liquid fuel atomization in the injector nozzle of the combustion chamber of a powerplant boiler is numerically simulated. The atomization of a liquid fuel injector is characterized by drop size distribution of the nozzle. This phenomenon plays an important role in the performance of the combustion chamber such as the combustion efficiency, and the amount of soot and NOx formation inside the boiler. The injector nozzle, considered in this study, belongs to a powerplant boiler where the liquid fuel is atomized using a high pressure steam. First, the geometric characteristics of the injector are carefully analyzed using a wire-cut process and a CAD model of the nozzle is created. Next, one of the nozzle orifices and the atomization zone where the high pressure steam meets the liquid fuel is recognized. The computational domain is extended long enough to cover the whole atomization zone up to the end of the orifice. The flow governing equations are the continuity and Navier-Stokes equations. For tracking the liquid/gas interface, the Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) method along with Youngs’ algorithm for geometric reconstruction of the free surface is used. The simulation results show the details of the liquid and steam flow inside the nozzle including velocity distribution and shape of the liquid/gas interface. It is found that the liquid breakup to ligaments and the atomization of liquid to droplets do not occur inside the nozzle orifice. A liquid jet with certain cross sectional shape leaves the orifice surrounded by a high speed steam. The numerical model provides the shape of the liquid jet, and the steam and fuel velocity distributions at the exit of the nozzle orifice. These parameters are then correlated to the final drop size distribution using analytical/experimental correlations available in literature.

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