Structure /


Laboratory of Combustion
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Responsible: Professor Mário Costa

The laboratory of combustion is equipped with facilities to conduct fundamental and applied research. Experimental studies are typically supported by numerical studies using commercial or in-house codes. Key features of the laboratory are the capability to customize gaseous fuels and oxidizers, a broad range of liquid and solid fuels, large accumulated experience in designing injectors/atomizers, burners and reactors, and an infrastructure capable of supporting the operation of prototypes and large-scale equipment.

The existing main facilities are the following:

  • Flat Fame Burner

The flat flame burner is used for the study of initial stages of solid particle combustion, particularly ignition, at a fundamental level. The ambient and temperature that particles are exposed to are controlled by the flame richness. A high-speed camera captures the trajectory of the particles and light emission. Studies are focused on the conditions that affect ignition, ignition mode and model development.

  • Drop Tube Furnace

The drop tube furnace is a vertical cylindrical reactor that is used for the characterization of the combustion of solid fuels at a fundamental level. The facility allows studying the conversion process of the particle along its axis at different temperature and ambient conditions by measuring temperature and species concentration, and analyzing the chemical and physical characteristics of collected particles. Studies are typically focused on combustion kinetics, particle fragmentation, ash behavior, and kinetic model development and validation.

  • Small-scale pellets boiler

The small-scale pellets boiler is used for the characterization of pelletized biomass combustion at both fundamental and applied level. The facility allows studying the combustion process inside the combustion chamber and the characterization of exhaust emissions by measuring temperature and species concentration, and analyzing the chemical and physical characteristics of collected particles. Studies are typically focused on particulate matter formation and emissions, primary measurements for pollutant emission reduction and ash handling.

  • Large-scale furnace

The large-scale furnace emulates combustion conditions typical of power plants; specifically intense turbulence and heat transfer by radiation. Gaseous, liquid and solid fuels can be used in single or co-fired mode. The combustion is characterized by in-flame measurements of temperature and species concentration, and analyzing the chemical and physical characteristics of collected particles. Typically, CFD simulations compliment experimental diagnostics. Studies are focused on operational, combustion and emissions characteristics.

  • Flameless combustion reactors

The study of flameless combustion is conducted at both fundamental and applied level using different laboratory reactors and several camera models with different geometries for turbine applications. Different types of diagnostics, including non-intrusive, are used to characterize species and temperature distribution and the flow structure. Typically, numerical studies compliment experimental diagnostics. Studies focus on regime transition, fuel and oxidizer composition and GHG footprint.

  • Diagnostics
Sampling techniques include thermocouples for temperature measurements, water-cooled and nitrogen quenched stainless steel probes for gas concentration measurements, and total particle filters and low-pressure impactors for size cut collection of particulate matter. Analytical measurement techniques include conventional gas analyzers, particle elemental composition (CENT-TS 14918), particle morphology and composition (SEM/RDX). Optical diagnostics include chemiluminescence using a CCD camera and particle size distribution using a Malvern Particle Sizer.

Laboratory of Flow Physics and Simulation
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Responsible: Professor José Carlos Pereira

The Laboratory of Flow Physics and Simulation promotes education and research activities in the areas of turbulence physics and uncertainty quantification for Msc and PhD students and Pos-Docs, allowing them to carry out advanced research work at any stage of their careers.

The laboratories are equipped to conduct both cutting edge fundamental research & industrial (applied) research. The laboratories benefit from strong national and international links between research staff and numerous research groups and laboratories around the world.

The main facilities are the following:
  • Advanced numerical simulation Laboratory
  • Experimental Laboratory for Fundamental research
The computational capacity includes:
  • High performance computational Cluster with 5 nodes of 32 cores each with 256 Gb of RAM
  • Multi-GPU's for HPC GP-GPU computation
  • Over 200 TB of total data space available
The experimental equipment includes:
  • Standard flow visualisation techniques
  • A wind tunnel with an open test section of 0.6 x 0.4 (m)
  • A wind tunnel with a test section of 0.8 x 1.4 x 6 (m)
  • Constant temperature hot-wire anemometry (3 channel Streamline CTA)
  • Two component planar PIV
  • Pulse duplicator
  • LDA TSI equipment

Laboratory of Microfluidics and Biomicrofluidics
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Responsible: Professor Viriato Semião

The Laboratory of Microfluidics and Biomicrofluidics promotes education and research activities in microfluidics aiming at characterizing biological fluid (blood) flows in vitro at the microscale and non-biological fluid flows in microdevices.

Besides the main facilities described below, there are also in the laboratory syringe pumps, pressure micro-sensors, cold-light sources, a spin-coater, a UV LED exposure system, a plasma corona system.

The main facilities in this laboratory are:
  • Laminar flow cabinet with a clean environment for the
    manufacture of chips with microdevices

  • Micro-PIV system with pulsed laser

  • Micro-PIV system with cold light

  • Viscometer
Vehicle and Propulsion Laboratory
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Responsible: Professor Tiago Farias e Dr. Gonçalo Gonçalves

The VP-Lab is dedicated to the analysis of vehicles and propulsion systems, focusing on dynamics, energy use and pollutant emissions, and has a mobile and a fixed component.

The mobile component of VP-Lab is designed to be installed in any vehicle and monitor, on the road and during regular operation, the dynamic, energy and environmental characteristics of vehicles such as o bicycles, light duty vehicles or heavy duty vehicles. It has the following components:
  • OBD/CAN interface for engine parameters
  • GPS receiver with barometric altimeter
  • 5 Gas analyzer (CO, CO2, O2, NOx, HC)
  • Fast response NOx/O2 analyzer
  • 3 axis accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Speed sensor
  • Fuel flowmeter

The fixed component includes an engine test bed that allows measuring Power, rpm, fuel use intake air flow, intake and exhaust temperatures and exhaust gas composition. The test bed can operate with a single cylinder water cooled multifuel gasoline engine or a single cylinder direct injection air cooled Diesel engine.

Multiple demonstration engines (2/4 stroke, air cooled, liquid cooled) and components are also available for demonstrations and teaching purposes.