Politecnico di Milano

Politecnico di Milano (PTM) was founded in 1863, and is the largest Engineering School in Italy with more than 40000 students. Politecnico is one of the most relevant technical universities in Europe, it ranked 1st in Italy, 8th in Europe and 31st in the world, according to the QS World University Ranking (Engineering &Technology 2014). The PTM Unit (http://creckmodeling.chem.polimi.it/), as a part of the “Chemical Reaction Engineering and Chemical Kinetics” group of the Chemical Engineering Department, is characterized by a strong internationalization, as evidenced by the large number of collaborations with foreign research groups. The PTM Unit is recognized as a worldwide reference in the field of pyrolysis and combustion of fossil and alternative fuels, including biomasses, and has a consolidated experience in the field of the modeling chemical reactors and industrial processes. The Research Unit, which involves three professors and about 8 PhD students and post-docs, is also currently active in national projects on the production of biofuels (diesel and jet fuels) from algal biomass and on the development of models for pyrolysis and gasification of solid fuels and the combustion of fuel droplets.

Role in the project

In order to reduce the physical and chemical complexity of FPBO mixtures, PTM will first define proper surrogate mixtures able to mimic the behavior of the FPBO in respect of particular investigation targets. PTM will then develop a detailed kinetic mechanism of pyrolysis, oxidation, and combustion, accounting both for the low temperature (LT) reactions (controlling ignition), and the high temperature (HT) mechanism (controlling the flame propagation). The resulting detailed kinetic scheme will be validated using experimental data and extended to describe also the formation of pollutants (NOx and soot). An automatic reduction tool will be adopted to generate a skeletal kinetic mechanism suitable for multi-dimensional CFD simulations. Finally, PTM will perform numerical simulations of the evaporation and combustion of isolated fuel droplets. Model results will be compared to the available experimental results (auto-ignition delay times, flame diameters, vaporization rates, propensity to NOx and soot formation). All these activities will be performed in cooperation with other partners involved in WP4.