In spray studies related to selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems a common approach is to replace the urea–water solution (UWS) with pure water, even though there is very limited detailed information on the spray properties for these two liquids obtained under the same conditions using the same experimental equipment. Neither is it known how the possible differences in spray properties influence computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. In this study, besides the flow characteristics, we compare both global and local spray parameters measured for UWS and pure water in the same conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first study which examines the influence on the injection process of replacing UWS with water over such a wide range. Moreover, the influence of different spray properties on CFD simulations is also examined. The experimental studies showed differences in almost all considered spray parameters. Moreover, different spray behaviour was noticed in terms of primary break-up. One important finding is that water and UWS sprays do have a similar Sauter mean diameter, but at the same time the droplet size distribution is considerably different. The simulation results indicated noticeable differences in terms of wall film formation; nevertheless, the overall mixing performance was not significantly affected.
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