The efficiency of combustion systems can prevent further climate change, minimize harmful emissions, and ensure U.S. energy security. Because liquid hydrocarbon fuels have an unrivaled energy density, combustion will continue to provide 80% of the energy for the world for the next fifty years. While the high fuel efficiency of diesel engines warrants their use in ground transport and marine engines, they generate considerable emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and soot. The development of simulation benchmarks for model development in large eddy simulations and Reynolds–averaged Navier–Stokes equations is essential to meet urgent government mandates on the reduction of CO2 by 80% by 2050 and increased efficiency imposed by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard of 54 mpg for vehicles by 2025. Meeting these standards will require the development of new low-temperature premixed compression ignition engine concepts such as RCCI internal combustion for diverse fuel streams. The time frame for these novel concepts requires a significant improvement in the fidelity of computational engine models. The direct numerical simulation targets proposed will have significant scientific and engineering impact including the understanding and control of key turbulence-chemistry interactions.
The research team also has targets relevant to the development of engines for flexible power generation. The target simulations will resolve outstanding questions regarding the impact of hydrogen-rich fuels. Understanding and controlling NO formation and intrinsic flashback safety (i.e. undesirable flame propagation upstream near walls in the boundary layer), particularly for syngases, will enable the design of high efficiency gas turbines operating under variable loads and fuels while also satisfying stringent NO mandates.
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