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Combustion involves the complex interactions of multiple competing chemical and physical processes.  Cornell faculty work with students and postdocs on a variety of approaches to understanding combustion, developing new thermochemical processes, and improving the ability to predict combustion characteristics and emissions.   Analytical and computational methods include direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large-eddy simulation (LES), probability density function (PDF) methods, dimension-reduction and tabulation methodologies for combustion chemistry. Experimental approaches include particle imaging velocimetry, high speed photography, extractive analytical techniques such as Fourier-transform Infrared spectrometry, and in-situ laser diagnostics.  The research includes novel methods for producing biochar, development of novel fire suppressants, studies relevant to gas turbine combustion and hypersonic propulsion, application of droplet combustion to development of surrogate fuels, and developing new types of chemical conversion processes based on film boiling.

Combustion is likely to continue as the dominant energy conversion technology for at least the next century, and as such its efficiency and emissions have important impacts on global resources, environmental quality, and climate change.  Thermochemical processing also plays a key role in new technologies such as biomass-based fuels and carbon sequestration.

Current Research Topics:

  • Turbulent reacting flows: Collins, Desjardins, Pope
  • Combustion Chemistry: Fisher, Pepiot, Pope
  • Biomass Energy: Avedisian, Desjardins, Fisher, Pepiot, Zhang   
  • Computational methods: Desjardins, Pope
  • Complex practical fuels: Avedisian, Fisher, Pepiot, Pope
  • Environmental Impact of combustion-generated pollutants: Zhang

Research Area Faculty

  Name Department Contact
cta2.jpg Avedisian, C. Thomas
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 193 Grumman Hall
607 592-7915
od57.jpg Desjardins, Olivier
Associate Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 305 Upson Hall
607 255-4100
emf4.jpg Fisher, Elizabeth M.
Associate Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 315 Upson Hall
607 255-8309
myl3.jpg Louge, Michel Yves
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 351 Upson Hall
607 255-4193
kz33.jpg Zhang, Max
Associate Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 345 Upson Hall
607 254-5402