Visualization and Performance Evaluation of a Liquid-Ethanol Cylindrical Rotating Detonation Combustor

Kazuki Ishihara, Kentaro Yoneyama, Tomoki Sato, Hiroaki Watanabe, Noboru Itouyama, Akira Kawasaki, Ken Matsuoka, Jiro Kasahara, Akiko Matsuo, Ikkoh Funaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Rotating detonation combustors (RDCs) are among the combustors that use supersonic combustion waves known as detonation waves, and are expected to simplify engine systems and improve thermal efficiency due to their supersonic combustion and compression performance using shock waves. Research is also being actively conducted worldwide on a cylindrical RDC; a RDC without an inner cylinder, which is expected to simplify and downsize the combustor. However, most of the research was performed using gas propellants, and liquid propellants were rarely used. Since liquid propellants are used in many combustors, it is important to evaluate the performance of RDCs with liquid propellants. In this study, a cylindrical RDC with a liquid ethanol-gas oxygen mixture was constructed and tested at a flow rate of 31.5 ± 5.0 g/s, an equivalence ratio of 0.46-1.39, and a back pressure of 14.5 ± 2.5 kPa. The thrust was shown to depend strongly on the combustor bottom pressure history. In addition, the start-up process of the cylindrical RDC with liquid fuel was clarified by self-luminous and CH+ radical visualizations. It was found that the detonation wavefront propagated at a distance of 2-3mm from the combustor bottom, and the main combustion region was 10-15mm in height.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-58
Number of pages13
JournalTransactions of the Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Atomization
  • Detonation Combustion
  • Liquid Fuel
  • Rotating Detonation Combustor
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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