Combustion

The following are some of the projects that we can offer:

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Alternative Aviation Fuels Kinetic Mechanism Development

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian and Dr Kevin Hughes

Experimental investigations into alternative fuel performance, in flames and jet-stirred reactors provide a wealth of data to aid the development of chemical kinetic models of the combustion process. In this project, these models will be enhanced based on a survey of current literature developments. Sensitivity analysis tools will allow the identification of the most important reactions within the models themselves, and where there is significant uncertainty in the reaction rate data, the GAUSSIAN 09 software package will be employed to determine thermodynamic and structural properties thus allowing improved estimations of the rate parameters for these important reactions.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Alternative Aviation Fuels Combustion Experiments

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian and Dr Kevin Hughes

As a consequence of concern over increasing greenhouse gas emissions, along with issues of availability and security of supply of conventional fossil fuels, there is a growing pressure to consider the use of alternative fuels in the aviation sector. However, before this can happen a thorough investigation of both the physical and chemical properties of proposed alternative fuels is required. This project aims to address the uncertainty over the combustion behaviour of alternative fuels by a combination of an experimental and theoretical study. Laminar flames of alternative aviation fuels will be probed by the techniques of laser induced fluorescence along with gas sampling to elucidate the flame structure, which will then be modelled using the one-dimensional flame structure code, PREMIX. This will allow the development and validation of chemical kinetic models of these alternative fuels combustion.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Advanced oxy-coal combustion modelling and optimisation

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Oxy-coal combustion with recycled flue gas is an emerging technology for efficient carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) that can substantially reduce carbon emission from coal-fired power plants. Switching from air-firing to oxy-firing substantially alters the heat transfer and the combustion characteristics in the furnace. This project aims to improve the current understanding of the oxyfuel combustion processes through performing detailed computational fluid dynamics modelling of the oxy-coal combustion and experimental investigations in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of oxy-coal combustion on the furnace operation. New knowledge will be obtained to provide guidelines to the power generation industry on their future design of new and/or retrofitting existing power plant with oxy-coal combustion technology.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Emissions and ash behaviour during the combustion of torrefied biomass

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Kevin Hughes

Torrefaction is a new technique of upgrading the quality of biomass as a fuel for power generation. The purpose of this research is to investigate the influence of the torrefaction on the combustion, pollutant emission and ash deposition of biomass. A range of different types of biomass will be torrefied under specific conditions. Then both the raw and torrefied biomass will be fired and compared in terms of gas emissions and ash compositions. Quantified data will be collected and analysed during the combustion. The outcomes of this project will improve our understanding of the potential of future large scale utilisation of torrefied biomass in the power generation industry

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Initiation and propagation of combustion waves with competitive reactions

Supervisor: Dr Kevin Hughes

Ammonium Nitrate based emulsions are a basic component of many materials deliberately manufactured as explosives, and also of many other industrial chemicals, especially agricultural fertilizers, where the possibility of fire or explosion during the production, storage and transport processes is a major safety consideration. Issues still remain concerning the kinetics of the decomposition process, the interaction of fuel, and the effect of additives. This project aims to undertake a theoretical modelling study of these processes in order to improve the understanding of this area.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Biomass Combustion

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma and Dr W Nimmo

Biomass Combustion is an important renewable form of energy for power generation. Combined heat and power, CHP, is an efficient way of utilising this energy most effectively in units of 30 to 60 MW. This project will focus on fluidised bed biomass combustion and related problems. There are 3 particular topics in this area that we could support as PhD projects. The students would join a small team working in these areas.


a. Pilot scale experimentation at 200kW. Agglomeration problems associated with ash properties could be studies at pilot scale supported by off-line analysis including electron microscopy

b. Deposition and corrosion studies related to fluidised bed combustion of biomass. An existing corrosion test facility in our newly refurbished labs is available for part of this work

c. Heat transfer and phase equilibrium modelling of deposited material within the fluidised bed to predict problem areas associated with distributor design and operation with different fuels. CFD modelling.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham

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Turbulence modelling of combustion using Large Eddie Simulations (LES)

Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes, Professor Lin Ma and Dr Janos Szuhanszki

Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling is a powerful tool that, due to recent advances in computational power, has become useful in aiding the design and development of advanced power generation technologies with significant climate change mitigation potential. Large Eddie Simulations (LES) is an advanced turbulence modelling approach with the potential to more accurately predict the combustion phenomena that drive the heat transfer, pollutant emissions, and fuel burnout of coal, gas and biomass fired power plants. However, development work based on experimental validation is necessary to make the technique more reliable and commercially applicable to the power generation sector.

The project will characterise the near burner velocity field of a 250 kW test furnace at the Pilot Scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) Facilities using a velocity measurement probe. This experimental data will be used to develop and validate advanced LES modelling approaches as part of a large CFD group focused on energy research.
The aim will be to improve the existing LES turbulence modelling methods and drive forward the commercialisation of the approach to the power generation sector.

For further information please contact Professor Derek B Ingham.

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