Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory
Department of Fuel and Energy
Frizzling or Fizzling?
1st November 2001 at 5.30pm.
Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, Michael Sadler Building,
University of Leeds
so special about a flame? We've had flames long enough
don't we know all there is to know? Few realise
that in our modern high tech-society, combustion is bound
to be a very significant part of our infrastructure. There
is likely to always be a big input by combustion into
the national energy audit for power generation. Furthermore,
large scale industries and aerospace are always going
to need to use controlled combustion appliances. And there
will always be processes involving hazardous materials
where ignition was never intended, and potential disasters
to be avoided.
lecture will be a general introduction to the importance
of understanding the fundamentals of combustion. One of
the unifying themes will be safety from the danger of
fire and explosions, and the aim of the lecture will be
to make even some of the more difficult concepts accessible
to the average lay person.
lecture will be interspersed with simple demonstrations.
It is not generally realised that unexpected possibilities
can occur when a simple flame can suddenly become a dangerous
explosion, or that a flame such as one gets on a gas cooker
can (given the right circumstances don't panic!)
destabilise and accelerate to become a detonation travelling
at supersonic speeds. In other situations, ignition of
hazardous material may take days before a critical and
dangerous situation is passed unnoticed.
work will also be reported on, concerning the controlled
use of explosions in some amazing naturally occurring
creatures. These little creatures come complete with mini
combustion chambers and a complex system of inlet and
outlet valves. The modelling of such naturally occurring
combustion devices reveals detail and precision hitherto