Past and Present Projects -- a pdf summary (5 Mb file) presentation of LFA research

Hydrate combustion (current): hydrates are ice-like solids containing caged gas molecules.  Methane hydrates are a prevalent naturally occuring compound in the deep ocean and the permafrost.  This project examines the burning behavior of these hydrates, a process that includes dissociation of the solid to liquid water and gas, and the subsequent burning of the gas in a surrounding flame.

Miniature combustion systems (current): liquid-fueled engines with combustion chambers on the order of a centimeter can provide extremely high power density but they suffer from low efficiency.  Efficiency loss comes from leaks, heat losses, and incomplete combustion due to quenching. These studies examine novel approaches to overcome these losses, including burning a fuel film from off the wall of the combustion chamber.

Electrical aspects of microgravity combustion (current): examines various uses of electric fields relevant to flames in zero-g conditions; includes fire suppression, control of the local buoyancy field, and real-time flame manipulation.

Optical particle sizing (current): techniques to measure the size of airborne droplets and particles using laser light scattering, holography, and direct photograpy.  Current application is to cookstove smoke and measurements using time-gated holography for probing optically dense systems.

Laser spectroscopy for high pressure combustion diagnostics (current): application of coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), laser induced incandescence (LII), absorption, and laser induced fluorescence (LIF), for measuring temperature and species concentrations in combustion environments.

Homogeneous charge compression ignition IC engine (past): an HCCI engine at small scale (25 cc and 50 cc).

Droplet stream control and combution (past): manipulating the driving disturbance on a liquid jet to produce controlled droplet breakup and then burning the resulting droplet stream.

Combustion control (past): active control of vortical structures in a Wolfhard-Parker slot burner (with F. Jabbari) and oscillations in a Rijke tube.

Coal and biomass combustion (past): identifying the critical conditions controlling char burnout using a small solid fuel entrained flow reactor.

Water in oil emulsions (past): formation and stability of emulsions and their behavior as sprays.

Ammonium bisulfate formation (past): creation of ammonium bisulfate under conditions simulating flue gas in an air preheater.

Nonlinear spectroscopy for biological applications (past): fiber optically delivered in-situ measurement of tissues.

Possible Future Projects