Sari Mira



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Wood is one of the most used biomass energy resource in the world. Yet, wood combustion remains highly unoptimized due to the inherent complexity of the process. The wood combustion process is multidimensional and multiphase, leading to large uncertainties. In addition, wood combustion is not a “clean” process; CO, CO2, particulate matter, and other emissions are formed during the wood combustion process as a result of deficient and copious mixing. Thus, a variety of experiments characterizing the performance and speciation of wood combustion using various physical and geometric configurations have been taking place. The goal of these experiments is to study the factors that potentially reduce emissions and increase efficiency. Previous efforts conducted on Vashon Island, WA, studied the effects of inducing turbulence into a gravity-driven wood stove (a.k.a. J-stove). The results from that study showed extreme flame stretching to the point of quenching, but some configurations showed promising results. Currently, the researchers are reproducing the previous data to ensure consistency before redirecting efforts into inducing turbulence in trapped flame vortex configurations. A previous study by Hsu et al. (Hsu, Goss, Trump, Roquemore, 1998) has shown a positive correlation between induced pressure drop, due to induced turbulence, and primary equivalence ratios in the combustion region. This correlation provides an opportunity to utilize the dynamics of a trapped vortex to manipulate the scale in which chemical kinetics occur to be smaller than the Kolmogrov scale; creating turbulent fuel and oxidizer mixing eddies in the reaction region of the flame. A Possible future direction of the study includes conducting particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) experiments in order to record the flame speed and turbulent fluctuations to show the effects of a trapped vortex configuration on the flame’s position in the infamous combustion regime diagram.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research - Graduate

Primary Advisor

Joshua Heyne

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Stander Symposium project

Effects of Turbulence Induction in a Trapped Vortex on Wood Combustion Performance