Thursday, November 11, 2010: 1:54 PM
150 A/B Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Biofuels are attractive alternatives to the petroleum derived fuels typically used for transportation. Biodiesel is of particular interest since it can replace petroleum diesel in compression ignition engines. Chemical kinetic mechanisms are an important tool used by engine designers to better understand the fundamental combustion properties of biodiesel. The presentation reviews recent advances and challenges in the chemical kinetic modeling of biodiesel (i.e., fatty acide methyl esters) combustion. Developing mechanisms for real biodiesel is cumbersome due to the size and complexity of the molecules comprising it. The modeling of simple and well characterized surrogates have led to a better understanding of the ester function during combustion, but these small molecules do not well represent the important combustion characteristics of real biodiesel. Therefore, the research focus has shifted to using larger fatty acid methyl esters as surrogate fuels. While these compounds provide a better representation of real biodiesel combustion, the chemical kinetic mechanisms are computationally unwieldy due to their large size. Mechanism reduction algorithms are an important tool in utilizing detailed mechanisms in practical combustion simulations. With these advances chemical kinetic modeling, researchers will soon be able to perform high fidelity simulations using practical biodiesel fuels.