Conceived as multiuser equipment, the site is one of the most advanced structures in Latin America for combustion diagnostics via laser techniques

The Advanced Combustion Diagnostics Laboratory is now in operation in the Mechanical and Naval Engineering Building of USP’s Polytechnic School (Poli-USP). The laboratory is part of the facilities of the FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI). This multiuser equipment will function along the lines of the EMU program of the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP), and it can be shared by researchers from other research institutions, both public and private.

“It is a state-of-the-art laboratory for combustion diagnostics using optical techniques, the only one of its kind in Brazil, in a University context, with this configuration and these safety standards. The idea is that this structure be available to anyone interested in studying combustion processes, not only from the USP community, but also from other universities from the State of São Paulo and beyond,” states Professor Guenther Carlos Krieger Filho, the Laboratory coordinator.

He emphasizes that it is one of the most advanced structures in Latin America for combustion diagnostics via laser techniques. “Our main objectives are to use laser techniques to characterize reactive flows and provide experimental measurements to validate numerical simulations. For example, we are able to characterize automotive injectors, industrial burners, investigate the stability of combustion processes…. And we can also develop more efficient combustion systems that emit less pollutants. Obviously, this is on a laboratory scale.”

The site is supplied with various types of gas: methane, LPG, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. The gas cylinders are isolated outside the laboratory, in brick and mortar structures protected by grids. A pipeline comes out of each cylinder, taking the gas to the room where the experiments are done. “Later, if we want, we can also have lines for liquid fuels, like ethanol and gasoline,” says Krieger.

Besides the burners, the room has different types of laser for measuring such variables as the diameter and speed of drops, flow-speed of the fuel, and the formation of OH radicals. “The equipment will be operated by post-Doctoral, PhD., and Masters students and some undergraduate students will also participate. At this time, our team, connected with RCGI Project 2, are preparing standard safety protocols for the laboratory to go into operation, which has an automated security and control system, including four sensors, three of which detect leakage of fuel mixtures and one to control oxygen levels,” says Krieger.

According to the Professor, the laboratory will be able to provide support for three other RCGI projects: Number 1 (Development of an Advanced Natural Gas Burner Using the Oxy-flame Concept); Number 3 (Advanced Combustion Systems for Gas and Diesel Mixtures for Internal Combustion Engines that Minimize Methane Emissions); and Number 11 (Development of an Advanced Natural Gas Burner Using the Flameless Combustion Concept).

Researchers interested in using the laboratory must contact Romi or Lúcia in the RCGI office (+55 11 3091-5646).