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Bachelor- and Masterthesis

Current proposals for topics of bachelor- and master thesis you find on the following page.
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Soot fomation
Particles of soot are often to be found in the exhaust gases of industrial combustion systems. Reducing soot emissions calls for fundamental knowledge about the chemical and physical processes involved in the formation and oxidation of soot. Aside from this, soot is an important industrial product. Knowledge of the kinetics of soot formation makes it easier to design technical processes for the manufacture of soot. Experimental data on soot formation is required to develop and validate detailed models. Spectroscopic measuring methods allow time-resolved 2D distributions of particle sizes and soot concentrations to be determined. These data are important fundamental information for understanding how soot is formed.


Within this research focus the following research projects are associated:

Emissions Soot Model

Within the EU-H2020 project "Emissions Soot Model" (ESTiMatE), a modelling strategy will be developed to predict carbon particle (soot) emissions from the operation of aircraft engines. 

This requires the improvement or development of sophisticated models for the relevant sub-processes and validation using reference experiments to ensure a reliable prediction of soot emissions. The aim of the work of the Institute of Combustion Technology within the project is to generate data sets under representative combustion conditions which can be used to validate the models developed.

In this respect, laminar counterflowmodel flames of a kerosene surrogate and its individual components (e.g. dodecane and iso-octane) are investigated fundamentally to explain the influence of fuel composition and pressure (up to 8 bar) on the flame structure and in particular on the formation of soot precursors [benzene (A1), naphthalene (A2), pyrene (A4), etc.] and soot particles. The data obtained are first compared with already developed chemistry models and then used to validate the models developed in ESTiMatE. The figure shows experimental and numerically calculated concentrations of gaseous species in a non-premixed counterflow flame of iso-octane.

Methane Engines for Passenger Vehicles
Contemporary Natural Gas (NG) engines for passenger car applications are not consequently optimized for NG operation. But, due to its high knock resistance, NG offers a high efficiency potential versus gasoline already. EE-C-Methane consists mainly of very neat methane. Therefore, it offers an even higher knock resistance (higher Methane Number) than NG. The higher knock resistance can be transformed into higher efficiency by further increasing the compression ratio (CR) and the boost level of the engine.
In order to exploit the potential and to achieve the high efficiencies, while maintaining drivability and component durability, many aspects need to be considered during the development of a dedicated EE-C-Methane engine, which are content of the described project MethCar. Beside the significant rise of the peak combustion pressure capability of the base engine, volumetric efficiency is going to be increased by means of a new methane direct injection system and a turbo charger with variable turbine geometry, as well as a fully variable valvetrain. Furthermore, the impact of the methane composition (EE-C-Methane) is an important factor for the market introduction potential of methane as automotive fuel. Therefore, in MethCar, the impact of the expected main components of EE-Methane (H2, CH4) and trace elements (as sulfur and compressor oil) on component wear and catalyst efficiency is investigated.
The 3rd innovative element of the study is the investigation how to avoid particle emissions robustly, with the focus on small particles.

Within this research focus in the past the following research projects were associated:

SOot Processes and Radiation in Aeronautical inNOvative combustors
The SOPRANO project’s main scientific objective is to make a breakthrough in the overall investigation efforts in the field of soot particles chemistry, particles size distribution (PSD), and their radiative effect on combustors typical of aero-engines. SOPRANO aims at a qualitative shift in the knowledge and experimental and numerical approaches related to the characterization and prediction of soot emission and interaction with radiative Low NOx combustor environment.
The main industrial objective of SOPRANO is to carry out an in-depth characterization of soot particles emitted by a modern combustor at engine relevant operating conditions and at increased pressures to pave the way for the future design of high-performance combustors: a more accurate evaluation of the radiation effect and, therefore, a more reliable liner temperature prediction, will drive a review of the design criteria in terms of combustor air distribution and will improve durability of some key modules, e.g. the combustor’s liners.

Reactivity of particles from gasoline engines: Relation to properties of particles and engine related parameters
One essential focus of the European legislation for emission control is on the emission of particulate matter from direct injection (DI) gasoline engines. The reason is the difference in mixture formation compared to port fuel injection. Fine and ultra-fine particles may penetrate into the lung and cause damage of the different types of lung tissue. Therefore, the reduction of emission of particulates from DI gasoline engines is a task of highest priority.
Currently the development of DI gasoline engines favors exhaust gas treatment by particle filters to reduce the emission of particulates. The reduction of technical effort in exhaust gas treatment is another important task in engine development. In the reduction of the technical effort for aftertreatment the reactivity of particulates plays a dominant role. The reactivity of particulates is affected by the operating conditions of the engine. By knowing property-reactivity relations, the oxidation of particulates within the filter can be enhanced and controlled via the operating conditions of the engine.
The main objective of the present research project is the control of the reactivity of the emitted particulates by operation conditions of the engine and the enhancement of the reactivity through the optimization of these parameters. For this purpose property-reactivity relations will be developed, which form the scientific basis for the optimization of the burn-out of particulates in GPFs. A second objective is to mimic the properties of particulates affecting their reactivity by synthetic soot particles generated in model flames. This enables the investigation of the reactivity of particulates without highly costly test runs with engines. A third objective is measuring of the properties, that control the reactivity of soot particles insitu and on-line in model flames and DI gasoline engines.
To achieve these goals particulates are generated in a research one-cylinder DI gasoline engine and investigated with respect to the properties that affect their reactivity. The reactivity and properties of these particles are compared with those from synthetic soot particles generated in a model flame. By doing this, property-reactivity-relations can be developed which allow controlling the reactivity of particulates through the operation conditions of the engine. In the present discussion about reactivity of soot particles the main hypotheses relate the reactivity with the order, extension and modification of graphene layers within the primary particles and the surface properties of the particles. Therefore, these properties of the soot particles will be measured in-situ and on-line in model flames and in a second research engine with optical access by optical methods. Altogether, the research project will establish property-reactivity-relations for particulates from DI gasoline engines and by that the possibility to control particulate emission via engine operating conditions.