Head of department: Dr. rer. nat. Markus Köhler
The Chemical Kinetics and Analytics department researches the chemical composition of (alternative) fuels, the formation and release of pollutants, as well as experimental and numerical reaction kinetics. The institute integrates the systematic treatment of analytical and kinetic problems pertaining to combustion, from the fundamentals to the technical application. The focus of the activities is on gaseous and liquid fuels from all programmes of the German Aerospace Center (energy, transport, aeronautics, and space). The focus is on the processes controlled by chemical kinetics in technical combustion systems, and the formation of pollutants in particular. The department's core competencies are divided into:
Comprehensive and detailed combustion properties are determined experimentally based on the physicochemical properties. The extensive experimental equipment includes large-scale shock wave tube(s) as well as high-pressure flame and flow reactor apparatus. The data obtained thereby enables a systematic understanding of the processes and will be made available for the validation of kinetic reaction mechanisms. The department is also involved in the development and optimization of the reaction mechanisms. The aim is to predict technical properties and implementations in numerical CFD environments.
The portfolio is rounded out by the metrological recording and scientific analysis of exhaust emissions and general immissions. Ultrafine particles (UFPs) are the specialty of the department together with measurements of combustion-derived gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides) and particles. In addition to carrying out laboratory experiments, the mobile laboratory for air and exhaust gas analytics allows the department to take measurements at test stations and in the field. All of these options enable current research questions to be addressed in a comprehensive scientific manner, and deepens the understanding of pollutant formation in the context of alternative fuels (including e-fuels and synthetic fuels from Power-2-X processes) and beyond.