Combustion dynamics refers to unwanted changes in the state of a combustion system. Such dynamics can be self-excited periodic oscillations (thermoacoustic instabilities) or non-periodic phenomena like flame blowout and flashback. Combustion dynamics arise due to complicated couplings between fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and combustion chemistry. The Ben T. Zinn Combustion Lab has a long history of leading the state-of-the-art understanding and mitigation of combustion dynamics, dating back to the Ph.D. thesis of Ben Zinn himself!
Research in this area continues to enable new advances in combustion technology, from mitigating high-frequency instabilities, to enabling the use of cleaner lean-premixed combustion in jet engines, to expanding the use of hydrogen for power generation.