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Fuel Oil Burners

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An oil burner is a mechanical device that combines fuel oil with proper amounts of air before delivering the mixture to the point of ignition in a combustion chamber. It is essential for the efficiency of the combustion process that the oil/air mixture is well homogenized and with as few pure droplets of fuel oil as possible.

A fuel oil burner either

  • vaporize and/or
  • atomize

the fuel oil. Fuel oil burners can in general categorized as

  • gun-type (atomizing ) burners (pressure gun)
  • pot-type (vaporizing) burners
  • rotary-type fuel oil burners

Gun-type Burners (pressure gun)

A gun-type burner atomize the fuel oil by forcing the oil through a nozzle and spraying it into to an gun-like airflow atomic nozzle. The liquid forms microscopic particles or globules which is well mixed and partly evaporated before ignited in the combustion chamber.

A residential gun-type burner normally requires a oil 80 - 130 psi oil pressure. Commercial and industrial burners requires 100 - 300 psi.

The gun-type is very flexible and can be used within a large range of applications, from relative small residential heaters to larger industrial heating applications.

Pot-type burners

In a pot-type fuel burner the fuel evaporates into the combustion air. There are in general

  • natural draft burners
  • forced draft burners
  • sleeve burners

In an atmospheric pot type heaters the gravity causes the oil to flow to the burner. The natural draft burner relies on the natural draft in the chimney for air supply. The forced draft burner relies on a mechanical fan and/or the chimney for air supply.

The perforated sleeve burner is only used in small applications.

The pot-type burner is the most inexpensive of the fuel oil burners and has the lowest operating cost. A disadvantage of the pot-type is a limited capacity. This type is in general most suited for smaller applications.

Rotary fuel burners

Rotary burners operates with low-pressure gravity and the fuel oil is supplied on and thrown of a rotary disc in a fine spray by the centrifugal force.

Rotary burners can be classified as

  • rotary nozzle
  • rotary cup

With the rotary nozzle burner the nozzle assembly rotate at high speed and oil is supplied through the shaft. The rotary cup oil burner contains a cone shaped cup that rotates around a central tube where fuel oil is supplied.

The following types of rotary oil burners are available

  • vertical rotary burners
  • horizontal rotary burners
  • wall-flame rotary burners

The rotary fuel burner has its advantage in larger applications.

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Related Topics


Combustion processes and their efficiency. Boiler house and chimney topics. Properties of fuels like oil, gas, coal and wood and more. Safety valves and tanks.

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