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Annular combustion is key to green aviation say experts

Research into single-annular combuster architectures and lean injection systems must be intensified for Europe to meet its environmental aviation goals.

This is the conclusion of the third strategy workshop of the four-year €1.5 million ($2.02 million) European low-emission combustion technology in aeroengines (ELECT-AE) project, which is part of the European Union's Sixth Framework research programme and ends on 31 December this year. The European environmental targets for civil aviation for 2020 include an 80% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.

ELECT-AE says: "There is agreement in the community that lean-burn technology is essential to achieve the low NOx targets and that it has to be driven towards higher technology readiness. Development of lean combustion systems, featuring lean injection systems and single-annular combustor architectures, has to be intensified."

During the workshop sessions were held on combustion noise and thermo-acoustics, component interaction and multi-physics and new concepts for combustors and fuel injection devices. The two previous workshops focused on thermal-management and fuel staging, advanced methods and thermo-acoustics, alternative hydro-carbon fuels, experiments and diagnostics and combustion technology.

Organisations participating in the workshop included Avio, DLR, Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse, Laboratoire des Ecoulements Géophysiques et Industriels, MTU Aero-Engines, Rolls-Royce Deutschland, Snecma, Turbomeca, Universität der Bundeswehr München and the University of Cambridge.

The participants agreed to continue to hold annual research strategy workshops to develop the European research strategy on low-emissions combustion.

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