Helping the aviation industry design cleaner aero-engines

ESTiMatE coordinator, Dr Daniel Mira
ESTiMatE coordinator, Dr Daniel Mira

Understanding and predicting the process of pollutant formation from aero-engines is a key aspect of mitigating aircraft emissions and helping the European Union achieve its 2050 climate neutral goals.

Emissions such as soot, which are by-products of the combustion process of hydrocarbon fuels, can produce harmful effects on human health and contribute to climate change.

The aviation industry is a large consumer of fossil fuels and currently requires hundreds of billions of litres of fuel per year. Therefore, there is a need to develop more efficient aircraft engines, not only to reduce cost but also to decrease the dependency on fossil fuels and mitigate the negative effects of emissions on the environment and human health. These aspects have motivated a large effort to improve and optimize current combustion technologies for ultra-low emissions aircrafts.

ESTiMatE (Emissions SooT ModEl), a research project coordinated by the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre and funded under the European Commission´s Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, is contributing to the aviation industry by further understanding the fundamental processes involved in soot formation and by developing predictive models for aero-engine virtual testing and design. The academic partners are working closely with the aeroengine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce to ensure the findings of the project can directly benefit the aviation industry.

A visualization of the dynamics of soot within a combustion chamber

ESTiMatE developed an integrated approach using advanced experiments and computer simulations to predict soot particle formation and growth. First, the project looked into how different factors such as temperature, pressure and fuel composition can affect soot formation for Jet A-1, a kerosene-type fuel used in civil aviation. Then, predictive models were developed using experimental and numerical data from high-fidelity simulations. The goal was to evaluate the predictive capabilities of the different methodologies. As the project comes to an end, ESTiMatE researchers are happy to announce that they have been successful in the development and validation of these predictive models for soot formation, which should now be ready for testing in more realistic conditions.

“The work done in ESTiMatE is important in the process of aeroengine optimisation and design,” said Dr Daniel Mira, the project coordinator and team leader of the Propulsion Technologies Group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre. “Traditional fuels such as Jet A-1 produce a large amount of soot when burned. We want to understand how these fuels perform in different conditions of pressure and temperature to develop efficient mitigation strategies for soot formation. Of course, there is still a long way to go before the aviation industry can develop net-zero emissions engines, but we are happy to contribute to this objective with fundamental knowledge and advanced emissions models that can support next generation engine designs.”

The ESTiMatE project, which runs from 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2022, is composed of seven European institutions: the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC), the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB), the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TUE), the Technische Universität Darmstadt (TUDa), the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) and the Universität Stuttgart (USTUTT), in collaboration with Rolls-Royce (RR). The project has established a strong collaboration between industry and academia to develop advanced simulation technology that can be used to generate cleaner and more efficient propulsion systems.

https://estimate-project.eu

www.bsc.es

Related Articles

Arconic launches as standalone company

Arconic has launched as a global company in multi-materials innovation, precision engineering and advanced manufacturing, strongly positioned in attractive markets. The company has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker "ARNC”.
6 years ago News

The engine for growth

Dr Neil Calder talks to Simon Weeks, chief technology officer about the Aerospace Technology Institute aero engine technology strategy.
5 years ago Features

An engine for growth

New ownership, new machine tool investment and new resources combine to drive Bromford Industries’ portfolio growth strategy within the aero engine manufacturing supply chain. Aerospace Manufacturing reports.
4 years ago News
Most recent Articles

Login / Sign up