Session chaired by Pr. Christine Rousselle
The use of biofuels dates back to the conception of humanity. The invention of electricity initiated the utilization of biofuels for power generation, which eventually shifted to fossil fuels following the discovery and eventually, cheap supply of petroleum. However, climate change and the increased insecurity in the oil market considering hikes in oil price and depleting reserves, has once again sparked global interest in biofuel utilization for power generation and transportation. In order to transition towards low-emission fuels, it is important to understand the technicalities of biofuel utilization; combustion characteristics, energy content and emission levels, and these factors are not well understood. The objective is to study the combustion reaction mechanisms responsible for the formation of particulate matter and NOx for biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, synthesis gas, as well as the effect of different lean or rich blends of selected biofuels on said emissions. Through kinetic modelling, the effect of fuel-lean to rich equivalence ratios of selected fuel blends on the flame speed/structure, heat release, combustion characteristics and soot and NOx emissions are analysed to produce information on how these fuels can be utilized in transport engines. This research focuses on various blend compositions of Dimethyl Ether (DME) with Methane, and more interestingly, DME with Heptane (C7H16) fuel, providing new understanding of the flame structure, soot formation and NOx emissions of the key biofuel combustion.