Combustion and Energy Conversion
Worldwide energy and emissions concerns demand extensive and detailed studies of fuel-conversion processes. Combustion is critical to power generation, propulsion, air and ground transportation, and to the environment.
This area of study includes combustion of conventional, alternate, and high-energy-density fuels; the pyrolysis of coal and organic materials; practical combustion techniques for application in furnaces, gas turbines, and reciprocating engines; pollutant generation and control; the combustion synthesis of materials; waste incineration; supercritical combustion; supersonic propulsion; turbulent combustion; spray and dust combustion; combustion in microgravity environments; gas and condensed-phase chemical kinetics; heat and mass transfer; combustion theory; computational combustion; and the laser diagnostics of combustion phenomena.
Princeton University is the home to a new $20 million Combustion Energy Frontier Research Center for combustion science, as part of a federal initiative to spur discoveries that lay the groundwork for an economy based on clean replacements for fossil fuels.
The center is co-directed by Chung Law, the Robert H. Goddard Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Emily Carter, the Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Applied and Computational Mathematics,co-directs the research center. Professors Frederick Dryer and Yiguang Ju lead research activities associated with the program.
Departmental faculty members are also involved in another new energy research center based at the University of South Carolina. Carter, along with Princeton's Mikko Haataja, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, focuses on developing more efficient fuel cells for generating electricity and "electrolyzers" that use energy to generate hydrogen from water for use as a fuel or chemical resource.