Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2009

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Lea-Der Chen

First Committee Member

Albert Ratner

Second Committee Member

Shaoping Xiao

Third Committee Member

Lea Der Chen


Dwindling conventional oil resources has caused exploration efforts to focus elsewhere. Bitumen from oil sands has emerged as one of the primary unconventional oil resources in use today. Quadrise Canada Corporation has harnessed this unconventional oil by developing their bitumen-in-water emulsion known as MSAR (Multi-Phase Superfine Atomized Residue). Fuel-in-water emulsions are linked to a combustion phenomenon known as micro-explosion, which are associated with an increase in combustion efficiency and decrease in harmful emissions. A study has been conducted of the MSAR fuel to help advance the optimization and modeling of its use in spray combustors so as to best harness the potential. Quantitative and qualitative data has been obtained during combustion experiments of the fuel that will attribute to this end. Additionally, a simplified statistical model is presented based on the governing equations to describe the atomization that occur as a result of micro-explosions of the MSAR fuel as well as a simple model to represent internal force needed for a micro-explosion to occur. The results of this study continue to reinforce the understanding that micro-explosions cannot be attributed to one overriding physical principal, but rather are th result from variations in turbulent, dynamic, and thermal forces.


bitumen, combustion, emulsion, micro-explosion, O/W emulsions, oil sand


vii, 97 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 94-97).


Copyright 2009 Timothy Robert Kennelly