Research

Research in this group focuses on the study, characterization, and enhancement of fluid, thermal, and mass transport processes, primarily associated with combustion and combustion emissions control.  

Current Projects

a band with holes wrapped around a tube used for an experiement

Non-Thermal Plasma (NTP)

We work with non-thermal plasmas (NTP) that create electrical discharges to inactivate viruses and bacteria in air, water, and on surfaces. The technology has been commonly used in food processing and personal sanitization, while fewer studies have been done on the airborne virus inactivation by NTP.

Transmitted diseases are one of the greatest threats to the modern world. They reduce crop yields, diminish animal productivity and increase animal loss from increased animal mortality and culls during disease outbreaks. It is believed that the prevention of infectious diseases relating to agricultural activities will become increasingly important to insure future food production. While much research has focused on waterborne pathogen inactivation, the same does not hold true for airborne pathogens, particularly for conditions where the objective is a technology capable of airstream disinfection.

Influenza

Influenza is a common disease around the world, striking most prominently in the wintertime. We research the effect of ozone on the spread of influenza. Unlike temperature, proximity, and and humidity: the affect of ground level ozone on influenza is still largely unknown.

Our research focuses on using chemical indicators, non-thermal plasmas, and sampling outside of the lab to draw relations between the spread of influenza and the corresponding ozone.

Past Projects

gas coming out of power plants

Activated Carbon and Fly Ash

The combustion of coal produces fly ash in the air , which is well known to have detrimental health on humans. Exposed individuals may suffer from various acute and chronic health effects, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer, and it has been long believed that fine particles are more toxic to human than coarse particles.

However, the optical and physical properties of fly ash and activated carbon are often overlooked: and this could provide the clue for controlling emissions in power plants. This research examined the various properties of ash removal and how to improve it to decrease climate forcing of technologies

graph of surface concentration

Modeling of Mercury

The Electrostatic Precipitation of Aerosols is important for understanding the spread of common airborne pollutants such as NOx, SOx, and Hg. We modeled the latter, with particular interest in the coupling between the fluid and electric fields (i.e., electro-hydrodynamics)