Title :

Biofuel Combustion Study Using Laser Diagnostics in Shock Tubes

Speaker :

Mr. Wei REN

PhD Candidate, High Temperature Gasdynamics Laboratory

Stanford University, USA

Venue :

Room 215, William M. W. Mong Engineering Building, CUHK

Date :

Apr 8, 2013, Monday
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

Abstract :

Biofuels are classified as renewable because the carbon present in the vegetable oil or animal fat feedstocks originates from carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere. Biofuels also offer additional benefits such as reduced carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon (HC) and particulate matter (PM) emissions and the potential to reduce world’s intense dependence on fossil fuels. One of the current focuses on biofuel-based energy systems is the design of advanced energy conversion devices using complex computer models. The development of these models requires a large experimental database to ensure accuracy of the computational predictions.

The first section of this talk is to introduce the development of the state-of-the-art diagnostic tools for gas sensing. Laser-absorption diagnostics, known for their fast, sensitive, and non-intrusive measurements of gas concentration and temperature, provide an important research tool for studying combustion. The recent development of infrared laser-absorption diagnostics and their application to high-temperature gas sensing will be presented. The thermal decomposition of biodiesel surrogate is then studied by measuring species concentration profiles in a shock tube, which is widely used to study the combustion chemistry of both conventional and alternative fuels. In a particular study of methyl formate (the simplest biodiesel surrogate), I will discuss how a semi-empirical approach is utilized to create a database of rate constants for elementary reactions, which are integral components of any computational model of combustion chemistry. A thorough understanding of biodiesel combustion and soot processes, will lead to the development of even cleaner burning renewable fuels.

Biography :

Wei Ren is currently a PhD candidate in the High Temperature Gasdynamics Laboratory at Stanford University. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Optical Engineering in 2006 and 2008, respectively, both from Tsinghua University, China. His research interests are in the areas of biofuel chemical kinetics, advanced laser diagnostics and sensors, propulsion and combustion chemistry.

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Enquiries: Ms. Winnie Wong / Flora Au-Yeung, Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, CUHK at 3943 8337 / 3943 7026. *MAE Series (2012-13) is contained in the World-Wide Web home page at http://www3.mae.cuhk.edu.hk/mae_seminars.php.