MAE Seminar: Lasers, Flames and Aerosols - Fringe Combustion Topics

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Derek Dunn-Rankin
Derek Dunn-Rankin
University of California, Irvine
Lasers, Flames and Aerosols Research Group
Abstract: This presentation introduces the wide range of research underway at UC Irvine in the Lasers, Flames and Aerosols Lab, and it then describes three combustion configurations and problems tangential to the usual objectives of maximizing efficiency and minimizing harmful emissions. For example, hydrocarbon flames have long been known to naturally contain a small quantity of charged species that allow them to act as weak plasmas. Electric fields can therefore influence these flames, including changing their shape and direction, their sooting behavior and their ignition limits. Methane hydrates are ice-like crystalline solids that encapsulate methane. As water evaporates during the hydrate burn, steady combustion of this methane as it is released from the clathrate cages naturally creates a watery-fuel diffusion flame. Miniature liquid film combustors evaporate fuel from the chamber walls and can burn stably even with dimensions below one centimeter. The potential significance of these examples is explored, as they all demonstrate a rich multiphysics environment arising when combustion is involved.

Bio: Derek Dunn-Rankin is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCI. He is co-director for CAMP, the California Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a program designed to increase minority representation in science and technology. Dunn-Rankin’s research is in combustion and energy, droplet and sprays, and applications of laser diagnostic techniques to practical engineering systems. He has been a faculty advisor for 27 Ph.D. and 63 M.S. graduates at UCI. He received a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship in 2008 and the Oppenheim Prize of the Institute for the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems in 2013.