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[en] Highlights: • A sudden drop is observed in spray penetration for B10S10D80 fuel at 800 and 900 K. • With increasing of temperature, auto-ignition timings of fuels become unperceivable. • Low n-butanol addition has little effect on autoignition timings from 800 to 1200 K. • n-Butanol additive can reduce soot emissions at the near-wall regions. • Larger soot reduction is seen at higher ambient temperatures for n-butanol addition. - Abstract: The processes of spray penetrations, flame propagation and soot formation and oxidation fueling n-butanol/biodiesel/diesel blends were experimentally investigated in a constant volume combustion chamber with an optical access. B0S20D80 (0% n-butanol, 20% soybean biodiesel, and 80% diesel in volume) was prepared as the base fuel. n-Butanol was added into the base fuel by volumetric percent of 5% and 10%, denoted as B5S15D80 (5% n-butanol/15% soybean biodiesel/80% diesel) and B10S10D80 (10% n-butanol/10% soybean biodiesel/80% diesel). The ambient temperatures at the time of fuel injection were set to 800 K, 900 K, 1000 K, and 1200 K. Results indicate that the penetration length reduces with the increase of n-butanol volumes in blending fuels and ambient temperatures. The spray penetration presents a sudden drop as fueling B10S10D80 at 800 K and 900 K, which might be caused by micro-explosion. A larger premixed combustion process is observed at low ambient temperatures, while the heat release rate of high ambient temperatures presents mixing controlled diffusion combustion. With a lower ambient temperature, the auto-ignition delay becomes longer with increasing of n-butanol volume in blends. However, with increasing of ambient temperatures, the auto-ignition timing between three fuels becomes unperceivable. Generally, low n-butanol addition has a limited or no effect on the auto-ignition timing in the current conditions. Compared with the base fuel of B0S20D80, n-butanol additive with 5% or 10% in volume can reduce soot emissions at the near-wall regions. Compared with lower ambient temperatures, n-butanol additive presents larger soot reduction ability at higher ambient temperatures.