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Dec 4, 2017 - Science and innovations
FEFU researchers to participate in ISS space program to study combustion

Researchers of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) will take part in the international experiment to study combustion at the International Space Station (ISS). Studies in zero-gravity conditions will provide new information on the structure of the flame for the creation of highly efficient low-emission combustion systems. A special test bench has already been delivered to the ISS.

Experiments on combustion at the ISS will be carried out by cosmonauts, and the FEFU researchers will have remote access to the station's scientific equipment and test data. Sergey Minaev, DPhysMath, Head, International Combustion and Energy Laboratory (IC&E Lab), FEFU School of Engineering, is in charge of the theoretical work and experiment management from the Russian side.

“Studies of the structure of diffusion flames in prolonged microgravity have not previously been conducted by domestic or international scientists,” emphasized Sergey Minaev. “The information obtained will have a significant impact on the development of highly efficient low-emission combustion systems for terrestrial applications, will verify the existing and create new models of kinetic response mechanisms, the effect of electric fields on combustion and soot formation.”

The initiator of the experiment is the Central Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering, the leading institute of the ROSCOSMOS State Space Corporation, with the support of the Coordination Scientific and Technical Council of the Federal Space Agency for R&D programs and experiments on manned spacecraft.

“As a result, we plan to develop and verify effective computational methods, component transport models, radiation transfer and modified kinetic mechanisms for the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, which can effectively describe the structure of the flame diffusioned in a broader range of conditions than it is currently possible. If successful, cooperation with ROSCOSMOS will lead our research to a new level,” said Professor Minaev. 

The International Combustion and Energy Laboratory was established in 2014 as part of the megagrant program under the leadership of the well-known Japanese scientist, FEFU Honorary Professor Kaoru Maruta. Sergey Minaev noted that the participation of the university researchers in experiments at the ISS is the result of almost two decades of combustion research in weightlessness led by Kaoru Maruta.

The FEFU IC&E Lab specializes in the development of environmentally friendly and efficient hydrocarbon combustion techniques and the development of combustion technologies based on the use of combustion heat in the production of energy-intensive materials. Researchers carry out theoretical and experimental studies of combustion waves, micro-combustion, and gas combustion limits in porous media.