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Tech Development for Reducing Aviation’s Environmental Impact

  • Date
    Mon, May 06

    2:00 PM — 3:15 PM

    Steinman Hall 160 - Lecture Hall

    , 160 - Lecture Hall

    p: 212.650.5748


  • Event Details

    The ChE Department would like to welcome Lance Smith from the United Technologies Research Center

    Aviation affects our environment in multiple areas, including potential impact on the stratosphere, local air quality, greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change, and community noise. Because these impacts are largely propulsion-related, United Technologies is actively engaged in research and development toward cleaner, quieter, more fuel-efficient and fuel-flexible jet engines. In the combustion area, UTRC has recently engaged in NASA-sponsored research for future commercial aircraft, both supersonic and subsonic. For a concept supersonic propulsion engine, lean-burn combustor concepts were designed and evaluated with a focus on reducing cruise NOx emissions in the stratosphere. Supersonic flight conditions are especially challenging for fuel-air premixing and low emissions because combustor inlet temperatures are high and autoignition times are short; however, the low pressures at these conditions allows jet fuel to be heated and vaporized before injection, as an aid to mixing. Two low- emissons concepts – differentiated by swirler aerodynamics, swirler size, and staging method – were evaluated in the work reported here, both using injection of heated, vaporized jet fuel. Combustor test results show that ultra-low NOx emissions (g-NOx/kg-fuel or EINOx < 5) was achieved for both concepts in single-sector tests at supersonic cruise combustor conditions. Follow-on work for subsonic combustor concepts also demonstrated ultra-low NOx emissions using injection of unheated fuel at lower altitude (higher pressure) combustor conditions such as during Landing/Take-Off (LTO) operations.

    Dr. Lance Smith (Research Engineer, UTRC) — Dr. Smith has more than 20 years’ experience in combustion research and development for aircraft and industrial gas turbines. In academia, his fundamental research focused on laser-based spectroscopic measurements in flames, including work conducted as a Visiting Researcher at Sandia National Labs. In industry, his focus has been on low- emissions combustion, including catalytic combustion, and on combustion dynamics or thermo-acoustics. At Pratt & Whitney, Dr. Smith worked in the combustion aerodynamics group, and with the acoustics and structures disciplines, to manage acoustic oscillations from flow- and combustion-instabilities in aircraft engines. At UTRC, Dr. Smith serves as Principal Investigator for DARPA- and NASA-sponsored research programs involving low emissions combustion, thermo-acoustics, and diagnostics. Education: BS in Electrical Engineering, Brown University (1986); PhD in Mechanical Engineering/Physical Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley (1994).