ChE 641 Syllabus


330R EB


Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00-11:50 AM


ChEn 522 or ME 522; Math 410 or ChEn 541 or equivalent.


The course website is


David O. Lignell
330T Engineering Building
Office hours: by appointment

Course Overview

This is an advanced course in combustion modeling and computational combustion. We will study methods for modeling laminar and turbulent premixed and nonpremixed flames, as well as particulate combustion. We will emphasize the theory and derivation of the methods, their implementation, and the use of existing computational tools. These models will include combustion kinetics, convective and diffuve transport, equilibrium, simple reactors (CSTR, PFR), canonical premixed and nonpremixed flames, and methods for treating turbulent flows.

We will be using specialized software. This includes Cantera, and CFD software, such as OpenFOAM. These systems will be used on linux/mac machines. Cantera can be loaded on Mac, Linux, or Windows, but no Windows support will be provided in the course. The primary interface to Cantera that will be used is Python.


No textbook is required, but we will use several resources.

The following are specifically recommended:


Assignments will take the form of written homework and/or group projects. The projects will include topics such as chemical equilibrium, chemical kiniteics, gaseous turbulent flow, and particle laden flows. Assignments may involve implementation of models discussed in class, improvements to existing models, or industrially-oriented applications, such as posing and solving a technical problem.


An final oral exam may be given.


Grades for the course will be based on the following distribution:

  • Class participation: 50%
  • Assignments/exams: 50%

Learning outcomes

  • Multicomponent chemical equilibrium
    • Students will learn the theory behind multicomponent chemical equilibrium and demonstrate proficiency with modern equilibrium computer codes.
  • PSR and PFR
    • Students will learn the theories for modeling large multistep chemical mechanisms and demonstrate proficiency with a modern set of computer codes for simple geometries, such as a PSR and PFR.
  • Turbulent Gaseous Combustion
    • Students will learn the theories for modeling turbulent gaseous combustion and demonstrate proficiency with a modern computational fluid dynamic code for turbulent gaseous diffusion flames.
  • Turbulent Particle-Laden Combustion
    • Students will learn the theories for modeling turbulent particle-laden combustion and demonstrate proficiency with a modern computational fluid dynamic code for turbulent particle-laden flames.

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