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 Mingze Su, Jie Cao, Xin Tian, Yongliang Zhang, and Haibo Zhao for winning the DPA in the Stationary Combustion Systems and Control of Greenhouse Gas Emissions colloquium.

The authoritative paper, Mechanism and kinetics of Cu2O oxidation in chemical looping with oxygen uncoupling, has advanced research and understanding in the area of chemical looping combustion (CLC). Chemical looping combustion is one of the most promising fossil fuel utilization technologies for addressing the global warming issues via capturing greenhouse gas, CO2, therefore understanding the reactions in this process are essential for new reactor design and scaling-up of CLC technology for industrial applications.

In chemical looping with oxygen uncoupling, oxygen carrier (OC) circulates between the fuel and air reactors to release and absorb O2 repeatedly. This study “bridges” the microscopic mechanism and microscopic kinetics, being ready for exploring oxidation/reduction mechanism and kinetics of other solid particles (e.g., coal, biomass, oxygen carrier, catalyst, etc.). The team was able to identify and provide a consensus dynamic description detailing the elementary reactions in the OC oxidation/reduction process. The outcome of this work can be seen as a key step toward establishing a universal reaction model. It can also provide bottom-up theoretical support for understanding the widely-existing gas-solid reactions.

The team’s research was conducted in the State Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. The team started with inquiries about the intrinsic reaction between gaseous reactant and solid particles. Over a three-year period, they were able to reveal the microscopic mechanism through atomic-scale simulation and investigate the macroscopic kinetics through well-defined experiments.

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 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.