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Optical Diagnostics of Fuel Combustion Products


The Development of Optical Methods and Devices for Diagnostics of Gaseous Fuel Combustion Products

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment
  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus / Institute of Technical Acoustics, Belarus, Vitebsk

Supporting institutes

  • National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus / Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer, Belarus, Minsk\nB.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics, Belarus, Minsk


  • Universität Rostock / Institut fur Energie- und Umwelttechnik, Germany, Rostock\nCNRS / Laboratoir d'Energetique Moleculaire et Macroscopique, Combustion, France, Chatenay Malabry\nOld Dominion University, USA, VA, Norfolk\nETG Risorse e Tecnologia, Italy, Montiglio

Project summary

The objective of the project is the development of a laser multi-frequency diagnostic method and devices to determine temperature and carbon dioxide concentration in high-temperature gas media, and their application for instant distant monitoring of fuel combustion process efficiency and ecological compatibility.

In all leading industrial countries hydrocarbon fuel burning is a key area of technologies. Increasing fuel burning energy efficiency and decreasing the content of contaminating gaseous products is now an important task. Today the main efforts of engineers and technologists are concentrated on the development of ecologically clean and effective processes of burning and the creation of monitoring and controlling systems for these processes, as, by raising the efficiency of burning systems pollutant emissions into the atmosphere are decreased and fuel savings are made. The clearness and efficiency of fuel combustion are determined by the temperature of gaseous combustion products and the level of polluting gases (NOx, SOx, CO and CO2). Therefore, inspecting the composition and temperature of burning products helps to formulate conclusions on combustion efficiency for different burning devices. Despite the large quantity of investigations devoted to increasing the efficiency of fuel burning, this important scientific task remains unresolved. One of the methods for fuel burning process control is the use of gas-analyzers to analyze the burning products. However, the process of extracting samples is complicated and inertial, a fact that prevents the wide use of gas-analyzers to control and optimize the burning processes. The other method for monitoring the burning process is an optical one. Optical methods are most widely used through their self-radiation of burning products (“radiating-absorbing”, conversion of a spectral line and their different combinations), and methods of laser diagnostics (Raman spectroscopy, CARS spectroscopy, laser-induced fluorescence). Nevertheless, the above laser methods, although they provide good spatial and temporal resolution when measuring the temperature and concentration of combustion products, cannot be used by industry because of their high cost and the complexity of experimental techniques.

Among optical methods for measuring carbon dioxide concentration, which is always present in fuel combustion products, special attention must be paid to multi-frequency laser diagnostics based on measuring the absorption coefficients in the center of vibrational-rotational lines with a tunable CO2–laser. A similar method was used earlier to investigate vibrational non-equilibrium molecular gas media. Progress in recent years in the development of methods for CO2–laser active media diagnostics leads us to expect that this approach can be successfully expanded to cover the development of a method and apparatus for monitoring vibrational equilibrium media containing CO2 like fuel combustion products. The main advantage of the given method is the chance to simultaneously determine temperature and carbon dioxide concentration from the measured absorption coefficients spectra. This advantage of multi-frequency laser diagnostics can form the basis for the creation of new devices for distant control of both the energy efficiency and the ecology of fuel combustion. The application of lasers with fast tuning will help to obtain instant information about the processes taking place in the burning apparatus and extend the multi-frequency probing method to estimate the burning efficiency for lean fuel mixtures. Realization of the present project will allow the development of technology and instrumentation for multi-frequency laser diagnostics of high-temperature gas media and application of this method to monitor fuel burning efficiency. Using the suggested technique to optimize electricity and heat production and will promote sufficient energy-savings and environmental protection. The following major areas are to be investigated within the framework of the project:

1. Development of a method to solve the non-linear reverse task of multi-frequency laser diagnostics of high-temperature gas media to calculate carbon dioxide concentration and temperature on the basis of measured absorption coefficient spectra.

2. Model experiments on laser multi-frequency diagnostics of equilibrium molecular gas media containing carbon dioxide in the temperature range from 300K to 1000K.

3. Investigation of the combustion process of fuel gas mixtures in a cylindrical combustion camera by multi-frequency laser diagnostics, to develop an energy-release spatial distribution monitoring method.

Project results involve the development of a method and devices for optical diagnostics of gaseous fuel combustion products and recommendations for optimization of lean fuel mixture burning.

The high scientific qualification of executors, preliminary theoretical research results, and available experimental equipment create the necessary prerequisites for successful resolution of all planned project tasks.

The research group of the Institute of Technical Acoustics, NAS of Belarus, conducts high level scientific studies into laser multi-frequency diagnostics of non-equilibrium gas media. The project executors are well experienced in developing various laser technologies (selective laser sintering of powders, laser cutting and welding, laser surface modification), and they have studied atmospheric ozone concentration with solid-state chemiluminescent sensors.

The research group of the B.I.Stepanov Institute of Physics, NAS of Belarus, have considerable expertise in theoretical and experimental studies of multi-frequency laser probing of non-equilibrium gas media, gaseous laser generation dynamics, the noise effect on laser radiation properties, and signal processing methods in the presence of high noise level.

The research group of the A.V.Lykov Heat & Mass Transfer Institute, NAS of Belarus, has significant research in nonequilibrium processes in laser active media containing CO2 and CO. In the 8 years research trends have focused on the study of combustion, detonation, and the development of corresponding diagnostic methods, including optical ones.


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