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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 16, 2009
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Researcher Wins Plaudits
September 16, 2009   
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Iwona Gil, a Ph.D. student at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, southern Poland, won the Topical Issues of Subsoil Usage international competition for young researchers in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 22-24. Gil's work may help reduce the greenhouse effect worldwide.

The competition, organized by the Russian education ministry and the St. Petersburg-based State Mining Institute, attracted more than 400 young researchers from 21 countries, including Austria, Britain, Germany, Canada, France, Hungary, Sweden, Iran, Finland, and the Czech Republic. A total of 259 works were submitted to the competition in nine categories.

Gil took part in the Ecology and Environmental Protection category as one of 60 contestants. Her work was dedicated to the effect of carbon dioxide on the methane combustion process involving flue gas recirculation.

Flue gas recirculation is a primary method for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions. Nitrogen oxides contribute to the greenhouse effect and the formation of photochemical or sunshine smog and acid rain. Nitrogen oxides also affect human health. They cause hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, in the human body, reduce its immunity to bacterial infections, and lead to pulmonary emphysema and allergic conditions including asthma.

As part of her research, Gil conducted experiments and used mathematical models. "The process I am dealing with takes place in high-temperature combustion chambers with inner induced flue gas recirculation," said Gil. "My work was based on introducing modifications into the Miller-Bowman methane combustion mechanism. It consists of a set of reactions that take place during methane combustion. I have updated the mechanism with four new reactions and changed the rate coefficient values of some of the reactions. In my experiments, I fed into the furnace a gas dilution composed of methane, oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen and subjected all that to combustion in high temperatures. I analyzed the combustion reaction products in infrared. The analysis revealed that the Miller-Bowman mechanism modified in this way can be used for industrial system modeling. The model I have worked out will make it possible to simulate internal high-temperature combustion chamber processes."

Gil is a doctoral student at the Silesian University of Technology's Faculty of Materials Science and Metallurgy. The supervisor of her doctoral dissertation is Prof. Jerzy Tomeczek.
Ewa Dereñ
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