Over 67% of the world's electrical energy (in Italy 79%) is produced by burning of fossil fuels (in Italy gas 69%, coal 19%, oil 12% gas). The main field of research on combustion technologies in CRS4 is lean premixed combustion of gaseous fuels including hydrogen. Lean combustion is employed in nearly all combustion technology sectors, including gas turbines, boilers, furnaces, and internal combustion engines. This wide range of applications attempts to take advantage of the fact that combustion processes operating under fuel lean conditions can have very low emissions and very high efficiency. Developed in CRS4 methods of numerical modelling of gas premixed combustion have found industrial use: Alstom, GE, Ansaldo Energia, Siemens. These method have been implemented in the commercial CFD codes FLUENT and CFX (Ansys Inc.). Applications of lean premixed combustion are complicated by low reaction rates, extinction, combustion instabilities, mild heat release, and sensitivity to mixing. Developing of theoretical methods and based on them practical recommendations how to solve these problems are the item of the current research.
Other fields of research are combustion modelling in catalytic micro-burners in the micro-generators of energy for portable applications, and flameless combustion used in the steel industry and perspective clean combustion boilers. Developed in CRS4 theoretical methods for prediction the operation windows, which are controlled by the boundaries of self-ignition, quenching and unstable combustion regimes, could be important in applications.
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