MECH ENG 7021 - Combustion Technology & Emissions Control

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

The course covers the basis of thermal energy technologies that are common for combustion and fuels. The transition of our energy systems from their present 80% reliance on fossil fuels to increasing fractions of renewable energy including biomass, waste and concentrated solar thermal, is driven by the need to mitigate CO2 emissions and is expected to take around 50 years. Managing this change brings many technical challenges, since any change in fuel composition or energy mix will influence the design of the combustion system, fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. The course will equip the participant with the knowledge and skills necessary to address these challenges. It covers the understanding, analysis and design of modern combustion systems to account for fuel properties, maximise output and minimise air pollution. Combustion involves both mixing of the fuel and oxidant and the subsequent chemical reactions. The course therefore involves consideration of both combustion aerodynamics and fuel properties. It covers fuel selection, alternative and waste fuels, the design principals involved in reducing pollutant emissions, modelling, applications of combustion for power generation and minerals processing, and hybridising combustion with concentrated solar thermal.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7021
    Course Combustion Technology & Emissions Control
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Assignments, Design project, Final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Philip van Eyk

    Dr Philip van Eyk (Course Coordinator and Lecturer)

    Prof Bassam Dally (Lecturer)

    Prof Graham (Gus) Nathan (Lecturer)

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Recognise the ongoing role of combustion, both of fossil and bio-fuels, in providing a more sustainable energy source for society, and the environmental challenges to be met to achieve this;
    2 Apply the principles of combustion;
    3 Explain the complexities of industrial combustion processes;
    4 Summarise the mechanisms of combustion generated air pollution and the techniques that can be used to control them;
    5 Summarise the complementary roles of measurements, modelling and scaling in understanding combustion, and in solving industrial problems;
    6 Recognise the safety and handling issues associated with combustion;
    7 Outline the impact of different fuel properties on industrial combustion systems;
    8 Explain the responsibility of engineers to the community in terms of providing a safe healthy environment; and
    9 Recognise the need for lifelong learning.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   2.4   3.1   3.2   3.3   3.4   3.5   3.6   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources

    The following texts are highly relevant and strongly recommended, but are not followed directly:

    S.R. Turns “An Introduction to Combustion”, McGraw Hill,

    PJ Mullinger and B.G. Jenkins “Design and Operation of Industrial and Process Furnaces”, Elsevier (This book is available as an e-book, via the Barr Smith library, for students enrolled at the University of Adelaide. 

    Online Learning

    Copies of all presentations will be made available after each lecture

    Supplementary material for the design project will be provided

    Links to public lectures and seminars from the Environment Institute will be provided

    A range of other material is available via MyUni

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The course is heavily biased toward practical problem solving, with 4 hours per week of normal tutorials and design project tutorials, compared with 2 hours per week of lectures. It is centred around a Design Project, which has the objective of designing the combustion system for a rotary cement kiln and includes mass and enegy balances to size the kiln and momentum-based mixing calculations to size the burner. If available, a plant tour of a large and leading cement plant is undertaken, to provide insight into the facility being designed by students in the classroom. The lectures are structured to provide relevant input to the design process. In addition to the marked assignments, progress reports and final report for the design project, many other in-class tutorials are provided that are not examined.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The design project is undertaken in groups of four for Final Year students, and individually for Masters students. It is a significant undertaking, but can be readily managed by working steadily through the semester. The virtual combustion laboratory can be completed in the allocated time provided students are well organised and focussed on the task. The work-load has been refined over the ten years in which the course has been run to provide a balanced work-load that is well reflected in the value of the 3 point subject.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Kiln design project 30
    Assignments 10
    Exam 60 Individual Summative Exam week
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Tutorials are considered to be compulsory. Whether or not students have submitted each assignment will be considered strongly in assessing marks which are border-line between grade options (e.g. border-line pass/fail or credit/distinction).

    Assessment Detail
    Details on the assessment tasks will be provided
    • Stoich. & Thermo. Assignment end of week 4

    • Flames Assignment end of week 7

    • Kiln Design Project:

      Progress Report 1 due end of week 5

      Progress Report 2 due end of week 9

      Final Report due end of week 12

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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