Key Phenomena Enabling Direct Simulation of Real Fuel Combustion Chemistry

Hai Wang, Stanford University
November 16, 2016, 11:00am - 12:00pm, EBU-II 479



One of the current focuses in combustion research is the development of reliable simulation techniques for the combustion of real, liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Since the pioneering work of Dixon-Lewis in the 1960’s, who demonstrated that the structures of laminar premixed hydrogen flames may be understood by considering conservation equations of energy and species along with a reaction mechanism composed of about a dozen elementary reactions, detailed kinetic modeling has been the only prevailing approach adopted for combustion chemistry for many years. Today, typical combustion chemistry models of liquid hydrocarbon fuels are usually comprised of several thousand chemical reactions. Some of these reactions and their rate coefficients are well known, while most others are not. In particular, reactions beyond those of small species are mostly postulated on the basis of heuristic chemistry experience; their rate coefficients are estimated using empirical rules. Although the “accuracy” of a proposed model can be assessed by comparing its prediction against combustion experiments, usually over a limited range of thermodynamic condition spaces, the development of detailed reaction mechanisms is and will remain to be a severely under defined mathematical problem. This talk will discuss key phenomena of real fuel combustion.  From the phenomenological understanding, we propose and present the results of a new, hybrid approach to combustion chemistry modeling for real hydrocarbon fuels.



Hai Wang is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to his appointment at Stanford, he was the Northrop Chair in Engineering and Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the USCHe received his Ph.D. in Fuel Science from Penn State in 1992. He was a Professional Research Staff at Princeton University from 1994 to 1996 before starting his faculty career at the University of Delaware. He is best known for his work on the mechanism of soot formation in combustion and development of chemical kinetic models for fuel combustion. He has made contributions in the application of ab initio quantum chemistry and reaction rate theory in chemical kinetics. He developed stochastic methods for detailed combustion modeling and uncertainty quantification. He contributed to the transport theory of nanoparticles and large molecules, atmospheric heterogeneous chemistry, nanocatalysis, and nanomaterials synthesis, characterization and applications. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 1999, two distinguished paper awards, in 2009 and 2015 from the Thirty-First and Thirty-Fifth International Symposia on Combustion, and a Senior Research Award from the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC in 2011. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Progress in Energy and Combustion Science.

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