Research Fellows Directory
Dr Stylianos Rigopoulos
Imperial College London
The study of the formation and growth of nanoparticles in turbulent reactive flows is important for several reasons:
- The generation of energy with minimum environmental impact. Combustion of fossil fuels currently provides for the majority of humanity’s energy needs, but it produces a range of pollutants. Soot, or smoke, is comprised of particulate matter emitted from a variety of combustion devices and can have hazardous impact on public health.
- The production of tailor-made nanostructured materials. A variety of novel materials are comprised of nanoparticles and can be produced by flame synthesis. The large-scale production of nanoparticles with desired properties raises the need for a predictive method to link the product properties to equipment design and process operating conditions. Other related applications include crystallisation and the modelling of biological systems.
A comprehensive theory must include two important elements: a description of the turbulent reactive flow and a model for the evolution of the particle properties, which is called a population balance. So far, these two subjects have been studied by two separate academic communities, and therefore merging the two has proved elusive. The proposed research seeks to bridge these two scientific fields, in the form of a novel unified approach for the description of particle dynamics in a turbulent reactive flow field. It aims to build interdisciplinary links valuable to researchers in both fields, as well as have practical implications in the form of furnishing engineers with reliable tools for the design of combustion equipment and materials processing.