Experimental study of jet structure and pressurisation upon liquid nitrogen injection into water

H. Clarke, A. Martinez-Herasme, R. Crookes, D. S. Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The rapid phase change and heat transfer obtained by direct contact heat exchange between a cryogen and water can generate high rates of pressurisation, which is of interest to a number of applications. A visualization study of liquid nitrogen injection into water is conducted in this work, with synchronized pressure and temperature measurement, to obtain insight into this complex phenomenon. High speed imaging reveals a four-stage evolution of liquid nitrogen jet structure upon injection into water, with a thick vapour blanket forming around a liquid nitrogen core and break-up brought on predominantly through impact with the vessel wall. Maximum pressurisation rate occurs in the third stage of injection due to a combination of heat and mass transfer. Pressurisation rates in excess of 350. bar/s are recorded and found to vary proportionally with injection pressure. The scenario of gaseous nitrogen injection is also investigated, and compared with liquid nitrogen injection. A clear advantage of liquid nitrogen injection is elucidated from the point of heat transfer and pressurisation, and implications for use in a cryogenic engine are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-949
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Boiling
  • Cryogenic engine
  • Fuel-coolant interaction
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Zero-emission vehicle


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