Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Non-Equilibrium Plasma-Assisted Combustion for Advanced Energy Conversion and Propulsion


Dr. Wenting Sun


Princeton University


Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211




Abstract: About 85% of the energy in the world is produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. However, the growing concerns about emissions, and the development of advanced energy conversion and propulsion systems have pushed traditional combustion technology to challenging limits. To continue to develop these technologies, it is critical to develop new approaches to improve the performance of combustion. This presentation will discuss controlling combustion kinetics using non-equilibrium plasmas - plasma-assisted combustion. Plasma introduces new chemical pathways into the combustion process. This plasma chemistry occurs on very different time scales compared to conventional combustion chemistry and also introduces a large number of new species and reactions which have not been previously considered in combustion research. The kinetic enhancement mechanisms of non-equilibrium plasmas on combustion are investigated through plasma-flame interactions in counterflow systems. It is found that the radical production from the plasma can dramatically modify the reaction pathways of combustion to create a new flame region at low temperatures. Advanced laser diagnostic techniques are used to quantify radical (atomic O and OH) productions from plasmas. Both experimental and simulation results show that atomic O is critical in controlling fuel oxidation at low temperature conditions.


Wenting Sun is currently a postdoctoral researcher of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. He received his B.E/M.E degrees from Tsinghua University, department of Engineering Physics in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and Ph.D degree from Princeton University, department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 2013. His current research focuses on plasma-assisted combustion, laser diagnostics, and combustion kinetics for advanced energy conversion and propulsion systems. He also works on numerical modeling of reacting flows, chemical kinetic mechanism reduction, and high pressure plasma technology. He has been awarded the Bernard Lewis Fellowship from the Combustion Institute, the Britt and Eli Harari Fellowship and the Guggenheim Fellowship from Princeton University, and Distinguished Paper Award at the 33rd International Symposium on Combustion.


Refreshments will be served.