Chemical Kinetics of Novel Biofuels


Project Description

Biofuels are becoming increasingly important in the world's energy infrastructure and their use has steadily been increasing in Europe and the U.S. With a number of candidate biofuels, a concentrated effort must be spent on choosing the optimal fuel that can be produced in a cost-effective manner and deliver the best performance within the engine. The student will initially work on choosing a few candidate biofuel molecules for investigating experimentally in the laboratory. Thereafter, he/she will perform a series of experimental studies on the selected fuels to understand their chemical kinetics behavior.​​​​​​​​​
Program - Mechanical Engineering
Division - Physical Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation - Clean Combustion Research Center
Field of Study - Mechanical Engineering or Chemical Engineering

About the

Aamir Farooq

Professor, Mechanical Engineering<br/>Chair, Mechanical Engineering Program

Aamir Farooq
Dr. Farooq’s research interests are in the areas of energy sciences, combustion chemistry, spectroscopy and laser-based sensors. He is the principal investigator of Chemical Kinetics and Laser Sensors Laboratory and is affiliated with the Clean Combustion Research Center. Professor Farooq’s group focuses on the development and use of advanced experimental techniques to understand fundamental processes in traditional and renewable energy-conversion devices. The laboratory carries out experimental research on chemical kinetics using shock tubes and rapid compression machine. These idealized reactors enable the study of reaction kinetics, fuel chemistry, ignition properties, and emissions under conditions suitable for future high-efficiency, low-emission engines and gas turbines.

Professor Farooq is interested in the development of new laser-based sensors and their application to a variety of energy systems. These sensors are used to make in-situ measurements of various parameters of interest such as species concentration, gas temperature, flow velocity, mass flux, and particle number density. Small-sized quantum-cascade lasers are used to design highly sensitive sensors that are portable and can be applied directly in industrial settings. Also, Professor Farooq is interested in developing laser-based sensors for biomedical and environment–monitoring applications.

Desired Project Deliverables

- Perform life-cycle-analysis to select candidate biofuels - Characterize various biofuel molecules in terms of their physical properties - Conduct detailed experiments on the chemical kinetics behavior of these biofuels using shock tube and rapid compression machine - Run validated chemical kinetics models to estimate the performance of studied biofuels in an engine - Show how the new fuel leads to improvement in engine efficiency and reduction in emissions ​​​​