You are here

Research

High-Fidelity Computation and Modeling of Multiscale and Multiphysics Phenomena in Energy and Propulsion Systems

Combustion

Our research on combustion is concerned primarily with computational aspects of turbulent combustion. Combustion will remain as the predominant energy supply in the near future, but faces significant challenges due to energy security, global climate change, and health issues, which result in increasingly stringent requirements for efficiency and pollutant emissions. In order to meet such requirements, next-generation combustion devices are expected to utilize fuels from various sources, e.g., bio-derived fuels and coal-derived fuels, and be operated under more challenging conditions, e.g., low temperature and fuel lean. In most cases, practical combustion devices are operated on turbulent flow conditions and there are complex non-linear interactions of fluid flow, molecular transport, chemical reactions, multiphase processes, and heat transfer, among others, in these devices. The current focuses are on advancing a fundamental understanding of such non-linear interactions, through high-fidelity computation and theory, and developing predictive models for the advanced combustion technologies.

Current topcis of interest include:

  • Large eddy simulation of turbulent combustion
  • Direct numerical simulation of turbulent reacting flows
  • Lean premixed combustion
  • Engine knock
  • Sprays and droplets
  • Autoignition and flame stablization

 

Porous Electrodes: Fuel Cells

Multiphase reacting flows and nanoscale transport in porous electrodes often play an important role in energy applications. In fuel cells, the key design challenge is to find an electrode structure that minimizes catalyst loading and degradation while achieving required power and efficiency. This requires a better understanding of electrochemistry, multiphase flows, and multicomponent reactant transport in complex porous electrode structures. In porous electrodes used in energy systems, the scales of interest range from atomic and molecular scales, where surface reactions occur, to pore scale to system scale, which can be several orders of magnitude larger than the size of small-scale pores. Our research is focused on the physics-based, multiscale modeling of multiphase fluid transport and reactions in heterogeneous porous media.

Current topcis of interest include:

  • Development of a high-fidelity computational framework for use in electrode optimization
  • Stochastic reconstruction and pore-scale simulation
  • Multiphase flows in porous media