In this 13-part series of monthly articles, The Combustion Institute recognizes the 2019 Distinguished Papers selected from among the scientific papers presented during the 37th International Symposium on Combustion. Congratulations to M. Stöhr, K.P. Geigle, R. Hadef, I. Boxx, C.D. Carter, M. Grader, and P. Gerlinger for winning the DPA in the Gas Turbine and Rocket Engine Combustion colloquium.

Their authoritative paper, Time-resolved study of transient soot formation in an aero-engine model combustor at elevated pressure, has significantly progressed research aimed at reducing soot emissions from aero-engines by providing valuable synchronously measured data of key quantities and relation to combustion simulation. The paper allowed, for the first time, detailed multi-parameter, time-resolved insights into the processes of soot chemistry under near-realistic conditions. The success of this research can enhance future modeling tools to gain a better understanding of soot formation in aero-engines.

The scientific team’s research provides insights and validation data beneficial for improving mutual interpretation of experimental data sets and respective simulation results leading to better understanding of soot formation at technical conditions and serving to develop improved models for the prediction and reduction of soot formation in aero-engines. Developing enhanced models helps in the eventual design and production of combustors with reduced emissions. The outcome of the research including apparent influences of flow field and fuel-air mixing on soot formation lays the ground work for future studies to address this issue in more detail.

The work supporting this paper was performed at the Institute of Combustion Technology of DLR in Stuttgart, Germany.  The institute has utilized research combustors to enhance their understanding of soot formation and provide validation data for more than a decade. Enabling close collaboration with modelers and industrial partners, the current work is part of the EU project SOPRANO (Soot Processes and Radiation in Aeronautical Innovative Combustors), a major initiative of industry and public research aimed at reducing emissions from aero-engines focusing on soot. The setup of the combustor and test rig, measurements at low repetition rates, thus low temporal resolution, and development of numerical models were performed within the prior EU project FIRST (Fuel Injector Research for Sustainable Transport).

Over 1,600 papers were submitted to the 38th Symposium in 13 combustion science colloquia. Those papers were categorized by teams of colloquium coordinators and co-chairs, and then distributed to approximately 1,000 scientific reviewers. One paper in each discipline was awarded the recognition of Distinguished Paper.

The 13 Distinguished Papers undergo committee review for consideration to receive the Silver Combustion Medal that will be awarded during the 38th International Symposium on Combustion in Adelaide, Australia. A paper selected for this honor exemplifies quality, achievement, and significance to advance a field of combustion science. Distinguished papers are selected biennially from among the scientific papers presented during the International Symposium on Combustion and accepted for publication in the Proceedings of The Combustion Institute.