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Reaction Kinetics

Working Group 3.34


The Working Group 3.34 is engaged in metrology-based research on reaction kinetics in chemical processes of the atmosphere, energy conversion and material synthesis. The focus of research and services is therefore on the following three topics:

Chemistry of Combustion and Chemical Energy Conversion

  • Auto-ignition
  • Pollutant formation in alternative renewable fuels
  • Soot formation processes in the gas phase
  • Alternative and clean combustion concepts
  • Hydrogen

Atmospheric Chemistry

  • Pollutants in the atmosphere
  • Formation and destruction mechanisms of chemical species in the atmosphere
  • Reaction kinetics and mechanistic investigations of OH-initiated reactions with atmospheric pollutants and VOCs
  • Reactions of Criegee intermediates

Material Synthesis

  • Synthesis of nanoparticles in gas phase processes

The main objective of our work is to establish a competence center for reaction kinetics to accurately measure crucial elementary reactions with reduced uncertainties, traceable dynamic species concentrations and to determine the reaction paths and unravel chemical mechanisms.These science and metrology-based tools, methods and understanding will allow to significantly reduce the uncertainties of model predictions in energy conversion, atmospheric chemistry and material synthesis. We therefore adopt an integral approach of measurements, theory and modeling towards determination of thermophysical properties and reaction kinetics parameters.

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The Working Group „Reactive Flows“ engages in a wide spectrum of research activities and services towards the metrology of fluid energy carriers and chemical processes. The accurate, precise and traceable measurements of dynamic concentrations of chemical species, determination of reaction rates and rate constants, detailed investigations of underlying chemical mechanisms requires “state-of-the-art” experimental techniques and tools which the group employs and constantly improves.

We employ high-precision spectroscopy to enable traceable dynamic measurements of concentration of molecular species in highly reactive chemical processes. The techniques include:

  • Laser Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Beam Mass Spectrometry (MBMS)
  • Synchrotron Photoionisation Spectroscopy

The main objective is to accurately determine the chemical kinetic rates for crucial reactions for validation and improvement of predictive models in energy conversion, atmospheric chemistry and gas phase material synthesis by reducing the uncertainties in measurement of transient species (atoms, molecules, radicals) concentrations. The uncertainties are mainly due to fragmentation, inaccurate photoionisation - and absorption cross-sections and limited understanding of the reaction paths. The measurements are assisted with high-level quantum chemical calculations and ab-initio theory.

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  • Scientific and technical advice to industries on diverse topics such as reaction kinetics, pollutant formation, self-ignition, mass spectrometry and high-pressure combustion
  • Standardisation activities in transportation, alternative fuels and fluid energy carriers

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