In this 13-part series of articles, The Combustion Institute recognizes the 2023 Distinguished Papers selected from among the scientific papers presented during the 39th International Symposium on Combustion. Congratulations to Yiqing Wang, Wang Han, Thorsten Zirwes, Feichi Zhang, Henning Bockhorn, and Zheng Chen for winning the DPA in the Laminar Flames colloquium.

The title of the winning paper in the Laminar Flames colloquium is, “Effects of low-temperature chemical reactions on ignition kernel development and flame propagation in a DME-air mixing layer.” When asked why this topic was chosen, Dr. Yiqing Wang (as representative for the group), explained that it has been demonstrated that low-temperature chemistry and cool flames play important roles in advanced combustion engines with high thermal efficiency and low emission. However, there is not a good understanding of the impact of low-temperature chemistry on the spark ignition of non-premixed flame and therefore it needs to be explored.

This team recognized a new phenomenon and as such their motivation for this study was trying to depict and explain it. The possibility is that when low-temperature chemistry is involved, there might be multiple ignition stages and multiple flame structures during the forced ignition process, under engine-relevant conditions.

There are several benefits to the team’s findings. Under engine-relevant conditions, this study helps to improve the fundamental combustion theory, especially the cool flame dynamics. This work also helps others to understand the fundamentals on forced ignition of non-premixed cool and hot flames. In the long term, these findings might be used in the growth of advanced combustion engines, especially in the development of reliable ignition technologies. The authors are hopeful that because the impact of low-temperature chemistry on the forced ignition of non-premixed flames has been revealed and explained in their work, engineers or researchers who aim to understand and model the ignition and combustion processes in real engines might benefit from their findings.

The research for this distinguished paper began in March of 2022 and was completed in November of the same year. This study was conducted at Peking University in China but was a result of the cooperation between several high-level institutions. Per Dr. Wang, the research was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Zheng Chen.

Over 1,500 papers were submitted to the 39th International Symposium on Combustion. All papers were categorized into one of thirteen colloquia, and then distributed to Colloquium Coordinators and Co-Chairs. Each paper received at least three reviews from qualified individuals through the peer-review process. Less than 50 percent of the papers submitted were accepted for presentation.

Following the symposium, one paper presented in each colloquium is awarded the distinction of Distinguished Paper. Visit here to view the presentation. The 13 Distinguished Papers undergo committee review for consideration for the Silver Combustion Medal. A paper selected for this honor exemplifies quality, achievement, and significance to advance a field of combustion science, and will be awarded during the 40th International Symposium in Milan, Italy.