Research team sets out to reduce jet-engine emissions

Manchester University is heading a £2.7m research project to create a key component in reducing jet-engine emissions.

According to a statement, FLITES (Fibre-Laser Imaging of Gas Turbine Exhaust Species) aims to establish a world-leading capability to map several exhaust species from aircraft using tomographic imaging. 

Together with academic and commercial partners, including the universities of Southampton and Strathclyde, Rolls-Royce, Shell, Covesion, Fianium and OptoSci, Manchester academics will lead the four-year study focusing on CO2 emissions and how they can be lowered.

The Manchester researchers, based in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, aim to produce the first-ever images of the distribution of chemical species in aero-engine exhaust plumes.

They will use fibre lasers developed at Southampton University and electronic architectures for spectroscopic measurement from Strathclyde University.  

The FLITES team has been awarded £1.8m by the EPSRC, with the companies providing more than £500,000 in support. 

It is expected that the research project will enhance turbine-related research and development capacity in both academia and industry by opening up access to exhaust plume chemistry. 

Project lead Prof Hugh McCann said: ‘There has never been any research using turbine emissions data to determine the condition and behaviour of internal engine components, especially the combustor.

‘FLITES will open a new door to penetrate the complex phenomena that dictate the performance and limitations of advanced aero engines and will help to really pin down the performance benefits of novel biofuels.’