Penn State researchers recognized for clean air research

A team from industry, government and academia, including Penn State researchers, received "Project of the Year" honors from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.

The Penn State team members include Suresh Iyer, a research associate at the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute; Thomas Litzinger, professor of mechanical engineering, director of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education and Penn State team leader; Robert Santoro, the Guillet Professor of Mechanical Engineering; A. Geraldine Mouis, a mechanical engineering researcher; and Arvind Menon, 2010 doctoral graduate in mechanical engineering.

The project, "Combustion Science to Reduce Particulate Matter Emissions for Military Platforms," effectively advanced the fundamental science relevant to the formation of soot particulate emissions with diameters less than 2.5 microns. Gas turbine engines of aircraft are a major source of particulate matter emissions, a substantial fraction of which consist of soot particles with diameters of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5). Although technology advancements have reduced soot emissions, additional reductions will be needed to meet future National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5.

The ultimate solution is to build engines in a way that reduces their emissions, a formidable challenge given their complexity. The team conducted experiments and simulations with the chemistry, fluid dynamics and thermodynamics of particle formation in high-performance engines. Accurate soot and fuel models were developed for use in designing low-soot emission combustors.

"This research will enable jet engine manufacturers to design and build engines that emit less pollution," said Iyer, "thus protecting the health of military personnel and surrounding communities."

The team also included representatives from the Air Force Research Laboratory, United Technologies Research Center, Yale University, Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc., University of Dayton Research Institute and Army Research Laboratory.

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Last Updated February 03, 2012