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Plasma-assisted technologies for clean combustion

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description


The successful ignition of a combustible mixture not only initiates the combustion but also influences the subsequent combustion process. The ignition system has always posed problems in commercial applications. Many experimental, theoretical and numerical studies have been performed for the past years and various ignition methods (e.g., electric discharge, corona discharge, radio-frequency resonant discharge, microwave discharge, laser radiation) have been tested to achieve simultaneous space ignition via multiple ignition points throughout the combustion chamber to establish a high-performance ignition method.

Plasma-assisted combustion is a promising technique to improve engine efficiency, reduce emissions and enhance fuel reforming. Ignition and combustion control using cold and non-thermal plasmas appearing in microwave discharges has become a major topic of interest. Microwave discharges are widely used for generation of quasi-equilibrium and non-equilibrium plasma. Among the various types of discharges studied, the microwave streamer discharge has recently demonstrated promising characteristics for ignition at low initial temperatures. The streamer discharge looks as a chaotic structure of plasma channels (filaments). Their characteristic diameter is about a fraction of millimetre, and a characteristic distance between the channels is a fraction of wavelength. A streamer filament divides itself into several branches that connect to each other forming a net of thin plasma filaments, whose characteristic length is related to electro-dynamic resonance effects. A local initiation of such a discharge is provided by special facilities.

In this project, possibilities of the use of microwave radiation to initiate combustion of air/fuel mixtures are investigated. Premixed flame propagation of air/propane mixture is investigated through a numerical simulation using Navier-Stokes equations coupled with chemical reactions. The results of computational studies of combustion of air/fuel mixture are compared with the available experimental data.


Funding Notes


There is no funding for this project: applications can only be accepted from self-funded candidates

How good is research at Kingston University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.00

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