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Combustion and Propulsion

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2016) | Viewed by 69502

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Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The social and environmental sustainability of economic and social development requires appropriate use of energy resources, particularly in the transport of people and goods. The main source of energy for propulsion is based on the use of fuels, mainly of fossil origin but increasingly from renewable sources. Therefore, combustion processes play a key role in the efficiency of energy use and for the environmental impact of transportation systems.

The underlying topic of recent scientific and technological research is the control of the fundamental processes, up to the molecular level, affecting the combustion. Therefore, the main research areas focus on the use of fuels from renewable sources, injection and vaporization of the fuel, by means of new concepts of atomizers in gas turbines, or by means of injection systems with electronic control and high pressure in internal combustion engines, air-fuel mixing. Moreover, control of oxidation processes with lean combustion or new combustion concepts, combustion instabilities, micro-scale combustion, control of turbulence and boundary layer by means of active systems, and development of new combustion concepts such as the homogeneous charge compression ignition.

Control and diagnostics are influenced by the particular characteristics of combustion in propulsion systems, with respect to stationary applications, for the significant variability in time of the operating conditions and the need to produce high amounts of energy in very limited volumes for reasons of space and weight.

The proposed issue focuses on experimental, theoretical, and computational investigations on the fundamentals of combustion in propulsion systems, and on the resulting lines of technological development. The articles can cover a wide range of topics, such as: combustion in gas turbines and internal combustion engines for aeronautical, automotive, naval and railway engines, chemical space propulsion, control and diagnostics of combustion, new and renewable fuels, alternative combustion-based propulsion systems, new combustion concepts, pollutants formation and control in propulsive systems.

Prof. Antonio Ficarella
Prof. Maria Grazia De Giorgi
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • combustion control
  • alternative fuels
  • renewable fuels
  • fuel injection
  • air-fuel mixing
  • lean combustion
  • micro-scale combustion
  • active control of combustion
  • alternative combustion concepts
  • alternative combustion-based propulsion systems
  • pollutants formation
  • pollutants control
  • gas turbines
  • internal combustion engines
  • combustion instabilities
  • combustion diagnostics
  • combustion numerical simulation
  • space propulsion

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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129 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial Special Issue “Combustion and Propulsion”
by Maria Grazia De Giorgi and Antonio Ficarella
Energies 2017, 10(6), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10060824 - 18 Jun 2017
Viewed by 2706
Abstract
The increasing demand for socially and environmentally sustainable development requires appropriate use of energy resources, particularly in the transportation of people and goods.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

5019 KiB  
Article
Pulse Detonation Assessment for Alternative Fuels
by Muhammad Hanafi Azami and Mark Savill
Energies 2017, 10(3), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10030369 - 15 Mar 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6557
Abstract
The higher thermodynamic efficiency inherent in a detonation combustion based engine has already led to considerable interest in the development of wave rotor, pulse detonation, and rotating detonation engine configurations as alternative technologies offering improved performance for the next generation of aerospace propulsion [...] Read more.
The higher thermodynamic efficiency inherent in a detonation combustion based engine has already led to considerable interest in the development of wave rotor, pulse detonation, and rotating detonation engine configurations as alternative technologies offering improved performance for the next generation of aerospace propulsion systems, but it is now important to consider their emissions also. To assess both performance and emissions, this paper focuses on the feasibility of using alternative fuels in detonation combustion. Thus, the standard aviation fuels Jet-A, Acetylene, Jatropha Bio-synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene, Camelina Bio-synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene, Algal Biofuel, and Microalgae Biofuel are all asessed under detonation combustion conditions. An analytical model accounting for the Rankine-Hugoniot Equation, Rayleigh Line Equation, and Zel’dovich–von Neumann–Doering model, and taking into account single step chemistry and thermophysical properties for a stoichiometric mixture, is applied to a simple detonation tube test case configuration. The computed pressure rise and detonation velocity are shown to be in good agreement with published literature. Additional computations examine the effects of initial pressure, temperature, and mass flux on the physical properties of the flow. The results indicate that alternative fuels require higher initial mass flux and temperature to detonate. The benefits of alternative fuels appear significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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5925 KiB  
Article
Pollutant Formation during the Occurrence of Flame Instabilities under Very-Lean Combustion Conditions in a Liquid-Fuel Burner
by Maria Grazia De Giorgi, Stefano Campilongo, Antonio Ficarella, Gianluigi De Falco, Mario Commodo and Andrea D’Anna
Energies 2017, 10(3), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10030352 - 12 Mar 2017
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5087
Abstract
Recent advances in gas turbine combustor design are aimed at achieving low exhaust emissions, hence modern aircraft jet engines are designed with lean-burn combustion systems. In the present work, we report an experimental study on lean combustion in a liquid fuel burner, operated [...] Read more.
Recent advances in gas turbine combustor design are aimed at achieving low exhaust emissions, hence modern aircraft jet engines are designed with lean-burn combustion systems. In the present work, we report an experimental study on lean combustion in a liquid fuel burner, operated under a non-premixed (single point injection) regime that mimics the combustion in a modern aircraft engine. The flame behavior was investigated in proximity of the blow-out limit by an intensified high rate Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera equipped with different optical filters to selectively record single species chemiluminescence emissions (e.g., OH*, CH*). Analogous filters were also used in combination with photomultiplier (PMT) tubes. Furthermore this work investigates well-mixed lean low NOx combustion where mixing is good and generation of solid carbon particulate emissions should be very low. An analysis of pollutants such as fine particles and gaseous emissions was also performed. Particle number concentrations and size distributions were measured at the exhaust of the combustion chamber by two different particle size measuring instruments: a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) and an Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI). NOx concentration measurements were performed by using a cross-flow modulation chemiluminescence detection system; CO concentration emissions were acquired with a Cross-flow modulation Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) absorption method. All the measurements were completed by diagnostics of the fundamental combustor parameters. The results herein presented show that at very-lean conditions the emissions of both particulate matter and CO was found to increase most likely due to the occurrence of flame instabilities while the NOx were observed to reduce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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7939 KiB  
Article
Flame Structure and Chemiluminescence Emissions of Inverse Diffusion Flames under Sinusoidally Driven Plasma Discharges
by Maria Grazia De Giorgi, Aldebara Sciolti, Stefano Campilongo and Antonio Ficarella
Energies 2017, 10(3), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10030334 - 9 Mar 2017
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 6364
Abstract
Reduction of nitric oxides (NOx) in aircraft engines and in gas turbines by lean combustion is of great interest in the design of novel combustion systems. However, the stabilization of the flame under lean conditions is a main issue. In this context, the [...] Read more.
Reduction of nitric oxides (NOx) in aircraft engines and in gas turbines by lean combustion is of great interest in the design of novel combustion systems. However, the stabilization of the flame under lean conditions is a main issue. In this context, the present work investigates the effects of sinusoidal dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) on a lean inverse diffusive methane/air flame in a Bunsen-type burner under different actuation conditions. The flame appearance was investigated with fixed methane loading (mass flux), but with varying inner airflow rate. High-speed flame imaging was done by using an intensified (charge-coupled device) CCD camera equipped with different optical filters in order to selectively record signals from the chemiluminescent species OH*, CH*, or CO2* to evaluate the flame behavior in presence of plasma actuation. The electrical power consumption was less than 33 W. It was evident that the plasma flame enhancement was significantly influenced by the plasma discharges, particularly at high inner airflow rates. The flame structure changes drastically when the dissipated plasma power increases. The flame area decreases due to the enhancement of mixing and chemical reactions that lead to a more anchored flame on the quartz exit with a reduction of the flame length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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3612 KiB  
Article
Exploring Soot Particle Concentration and Emissivity by Transient Thermocouples Measurements in Laminar Partially Premixed Coflow Flames
by Gianluigi De Falco, Giulia Moggia, Mariano Sirignano, Mario Commodo, Patrizia Minutolo and Andrea D’Anna
Energies 2017, 10(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10020232 - 15 Feb 2017
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5490
Abstract
Soot formation in combustion represents a complex phenomenon that strongly depends on several factors such as pressure, temperature, fuel chemical composition, and the extent of premixing. The effect of partial premixing on soot formation is of relevance also for real combustion devices and [...] Read more.
Soot formation in combustion represents a complex phenomenon that strongly depends on several factors such as pressure, temperature, fuel chemical composition, and the extent of premixing. The effect of partial premixing on soot formation is of relevance also for real combustion devices and still needs to be fully understood. An improved version of the thermophoretic particle densitometry (TPD) method has been used in this work with the aim to obtain both quantitative and qualitative information of soot particles generated in a set of laminar partially-premixed coflow flames characterized by different equivalence ratios. To this aim, the transient thermocouple temperature response has been analyzed to infer particle concentration and emissivity. A variety of thermal emissivity values have been measured for flame-formed carbonaceous particles, ranging from 0.4 to 0.5 for the early nucleated soot particles up to the value of 0.95, representing the typical value commonly attributed to mature soot particles, indicating that the correct determination of the thermal emissivity is necessary to accurately evaluate the particle volume fraction. This is particularly true at the early stage of the soot formation, when particle concentration measurement is indeed particularly challenging as in the central region of the diffusion flames. With increasing premixing, an initial increase of particles is detected both in the maximum radial soot volume fraction region and in the central region of the flame, while the further addition of primary air determines the particle volume fraction drop. Finally, a modeling analysis based on a sectional approach has been performed to corroborate the experimental findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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4421 KiB  
Article
A Soft Sensor-Based Fault-Tolerant Control on the Air Fuel Ratio of Spark-Ignition Engines
by Yu-Jia Zhai, Ding-Li Yu, Ke-Jun Qian, Sanghyuk Lee and Nipon Theera-Umpon
Energies 2017, 10(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10010131 - 20 Jan 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5357
Abstract
The air/fuel ratio (AFR) regulation for spark-ignition (SI) engines has been an essential and challenging control problem for engineers in the automotive industry. The feed-forward and feedback scheme has been investigated in both academic research and industrial application. The aging effect can often [...] Read more.
The air/fuel ratio (AFR) regulation for spark-ignition (SI) engines has been an essential and challenging control problem for engineers in the automotive industry. The feed-forward and feedback scheme has been investigated in both academic research and industrial application. The aging effect can often cause an AFR sensor fault in the feedback loop, and the AFR control performance will degrade consequently. In this research, a new control scheme on AFR with fault-tolerance is proposed by using an artificial neural network model based on fault detection and compensation, which can provide the satisfactory AFR regulation performance at the stoichiometric value for the combustion process, given a certain level of misreading of the AFR sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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6349 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Acoustic Field Induced by HRT on Oscillation Behavior of a Single Droplet
by Can Ruan, Fei Xing, Yue Huang, Xinyi Yu, Jiacheng Zhang and Yufeng Yao
Energies 2017, 10(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10010048 - 4 Jan 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4328
Abstract
This paper presents an experimental and theoretical study on the effects of an acoustic field induced by Hartmann Resonance Tube (HRT) on droplet deformation behavior. The characteristics of the acoustic field generated by HRT are investigated. Results show that the acoustic frequency decreases [...] Read more.
This paper presents an experimental and theoretical study on the effects of an acoustic field induced by Hartmann Resonance Tube (HRT) on droplet deformation behavior. The characteristics of the acoustic field generated by HRT are investigated. Results show that the acoustic frequency decreases with the increase of the resonator length, the sound pressure level (SPL) increases with the increase of nozzle pressure ratio (NPR), and it is also noted that increasing resonator length can cause SPL to decrease, which has rarely been reported in published literature. Further theoretical analysis reveals that the resonance frequency of a droplet has several modes, and when the acoustic frequency equals the droplet’s frequency, heightened droplet responses are observed with the maximum amplitude of the shape oscillation. The experimental results for different resonator cavity lengths, nozzle pressure ratios and droplet diameters confirm the non-linear nature of this problem, and this conclusion is in good agreement with theoretical analysis. Measurements by high speed camera have shown that the introduction of an acoustic field can greatly enhance droplet oscillation, which means with the use of an ultrasonic atomizer based on HRT, the quality of atomization and combustion can be highly improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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9789 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of a Vortex Combustor Based on Aluminum and Steam
by Xianhe Chen, Zhixun Xia, Liya Huang and Likun Ma
Energies 2016, 9(12), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9121072 - 16 Dec 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4986
Abstract
In this paper we report a new development in the numerical model for aluminum-steam combustion. This model is based on the diffusion flame of the continuum regime and the thermal equilibrium between the particle and the flow field, which can be used to [...] Read more.
In this paper we report a new development in the numerical model for aluminum-steam combustion. This model is based on the diffusion flame of the continuum regime and the thermal equilibrium between the particle and the flow field, which can be used to calculate the aluminum particle combustion model for two phase calculation conditions. The model prediction is in agreement with the experimental data. A new type of vortex combustor is proposed to increase the efficiency of the combustion of aluminum and steam, and the mathematical model of the two phase reacting flow in this combustor is established. The turbulence effects are modeled using the Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) with Linear Pressure-Strain approach, and the Eddy-Dissipation model is used to simulate the gas phase combustion. Aluminum particles are injected into the vortex combustor, forming a swirling flow around the chamber, whose trajectories are traced using the Discrete Phase Model (DPM). The simulation results show that the vortex combustor can achieve highly efficient combustion of aluminum and steam. The influencing factors, such as the eccentric distance of the inlet of aluminum particles, particle size and steam inlet diameter, etc., are studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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2545 KiB  
Article
Study on Reaction Characteristics of Chemical-Looping Combustion between Maize Stalk and High Index Facet Iron Oxide
by Wu Qin, Changfeng Lin, Jianye Wang, Xianbin Xiao, Changqing Dong and Li Wei
Energies 2016, 9(8), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9080656 - 18 Aug 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4764
Abstract
In this work, experiments were performed to investigate the activity and regeneration ability of iron-based oxygen carrier with high index facet (104) during chemical looping combustion (CLC), suggesting that morphological control of the oxygen carrier is very rewarding. Fe2O3(104) [...] Read more.
In this work, experiments were performed to investigate the activity and regeneration ability of iron-based oxygen carrier with high index facet (104) during chemical looping combustion (CLC), suggesting that morphological control of the oxygen carrier is very rewarding. Fe2O3(104) supported on Al2O3 was synthesized by a morphology controlled method to undertake maize stalk CLC experiments. Compared with the referenced Fe2O3/Al2O3 prepared by the impregnation method, Fe2O3(104)/Al2O3 presents better reactivity, showing higher fuel conversion rate and CO2 concentration in gaseous products. Further, structural characterizations, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (LEO-1450) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis, and multi-cycles CLC reactions were performed to verify the good regeneration and stability of the Fe2O3(104)/Al2O3. The findings indicate that the Fe2O3(104)/Al2O3 is efficient when used for CLC of maize stalk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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7657 KiB  
Article
Research on the Combustion Characteristics of a Free-Piston Gasoline Engine Linear Generator during the Stable Generating Process
by Yuxi Miao, Zhengxing Zuo, Huihua Feng, Chendong Guo, Yu Song, Boru Jia and Yuyao Guo
Energies 2016, 9(8), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9080655 - 18 Aug 2016
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 7479
Abstract
The free-piston gasoline engine linear generator (FPGLG) is a new kind of power plant consisting of free-piston gasoline engines and a linear generator. Due to the elimination of the crankshaft mechanism, the piston motion process and the combustion heat release process affect each [...] Read more.
The free-piston gasoline engine linear generator (FPGLG) is a new kind of power plant consisting of free-piston gasoline engines and a linear generator. Due to the elimination of the crankshaft mechanism, the piston motion process and the combustion heat release process affect each other significantly. In this paper, the combustion characteristics during the stable generating process of a FPGLG were presented using a numerical iteration method, which coupled a zero-dimensional piston dynamic model and a three-dimensional scavenging model with the combustion process simulation. The results indicated that, compared to the conventional engine (CE), the heat release process of the FPGLG lasted longer with a lower peak heat release rate. The indicated thermal efficiency of the engine was lower because less heat was released around the piston top dead centre (TDC). Very minimal difference was observed on the ignition delay duration between the FPGLG and the CE, while the post-combustion period of the FPGLG was significantly longer than that of the CE. Meanwhile, the FPGLG was found to operate more moderately due to lower peak in-cylinder gas pressure and a lower pressure rising rate. The potential advantage of the FPGLG in lower NOx emission was also proven with the simulation results presented in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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4458 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Slight Protuberances in a Micro-Tube Reactor on Methane/Moist Air Catalytic Combustion
by Ruirui Wang, Jingyu Ran, Xuesen Du, Juntian Niu and Wenjie Qi
Energies 2016, 9(6), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9060421 - 30 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4364
Abstract
The combustion characteristics of methane/moist air in micro-tube reactors with different numbers and shapes of inner wall protuberances are investigated in this paper. The micro-reactor with one rectangular protuberance (six different sizes) was studied firstly, and it is shown that reactions near the [...] Read more.
The combustion characteristics of methane/moist air in micro-tube reactors with different numbers and shapes of inner wall protuberances are investigated in this paper. The micro-reactor with one rectangular protuberance (six different sizes) was studied firstly, and it is shown that reactions near the protuberance are mainly controlled by diffusion, which has little effect on the outlet temperature and methane conversion rate. The formation of cavities and recirculation zones in the vicinity of protuberances leads to a significant increase of the Arrhenius reaction rate of CH4 and gas velocity. Next, among the six different simulated conditions (0–5 rectangular protuberances), the micro-tube reactor with five rectangular protuberances shows the highest methane conversion rate. Finally, the effect of protuberance shape on methane/moist air catalytic combustion is confirmed, and it is found that the protuberance shape has a greater influence on methane conversion rate than the number of protuberances. The methane conversion rate in the micro-tube decreases progressively in the following order: five triangular slight protuberances > five rectangular protuberances > five trapezoidal protuberances > smooth tube. In all tests of methane/moist air combustion conditions, the micro-tube with five triangular protuberances has the peak efficiency and is therefore recommended for high efficiency reactors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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9376 KiB  
Article
Decreasing NOx of a Low-Speed Two-Stroke Marine Diesel Engine by Using In-Cylinder Emission Control Measures
by Liyan Feng, Jiangping Tian, Wuqiang Long, Weixin Gong, Baoguo Du, Dan Li and Lei Chen
Energies 2016, 9(4), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9040304 - 21 Apr 2016
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 10598
Abstract
The authors applied one-dimensional (1-D) simulation and 3-D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation to evaluate the potential of in-cylinder control methods on a low-speed 2-stroke marine engine to reach the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tier 3 NOx emissions standards. Reducing the combustion [...] Read more.
The authors applied one-dimensional (1-D) simulation and 3-D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation to evaluate the potential of in-cylinder control methods on a low-speed 2-stroke marine engine to reach the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tier 3 NOx emissions standards. Reducing the combustion temperature is an important in-cylinder measure to decrease NOx emissions of marine diesel engines. Miller-cycle and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) are effective methods to reduce the maximum combustion temperature and accordingly decrease NOx emissions. The authors’ calculation results indicate that with a combination of 2-stage turbocharging, a mild Miller-cycle and 10% EGR rate, the NOx emissions can be decreased by 48% without the increased Specific Fuel Oil Consumption (SFOC) penalties; with a medium Miller-cycle and 10% EGR, NOx can be decreased by 56% with a slight increase of SFOC; with a medium Miller-cycle and 20% EGR, NOx can be decreased by 77% and meet IMO Tier 3 standards, but with the high price of a considerable increase of SFOC. The first two schemes are promising to meet IMO Tier 3 standards with good fuel economy if other techniques are combined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Propulsion)
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