Making Biofuel Green and Clean

Largest supercomputer simulations of bio-jet-fuel will help make fuels clean and green

TORONTO, Jun 7, /CNW/ – Researchers at the University of Toronto, working with fuel, aerospace, and combustion experts across the world, have performed the largest-ever simulations of bio-jet-fuel combustion – making it now possible to find fuel mixtures which reduces soot formation while minimizing greenhouse gas emission. Their results are to be announced today at Canada’s largest supercomputing conference, HPCS.

A still from a highly chemically complex simulation of biofuel combustion, the largest ever performed. This simulation will help make biofuel combustion in aeronautics reliable, clean, and economical. (Credit: S. Dworkin, MIE, University of Toronto)

Meghdad Saffaripour, Seth Dworkin, and Murray Thomson, of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department, are using one of Canada’s largest computers at SciNet to study the effect of using bio-jet-fuels in place of conventional fuel. Renewable bio-fuels, made of plants which absorbed carbon dioxide as they grew, can emit
significantly less net greenhouse gasses than fossil fuels; but they are more complicated chemically.
“These simulations had previously been possible only for simple fuels,” said Dr. Dworkin. “The more complex the fuel, the harder it becomes to simulate it accurately.” The groups results, using twice as many constituents as any previous calculation, required 192 processors on SciNet’s powerful IBM Power-6 TCS system for three months continuously. Their results have shown them how to perform new simulations in half the time, enabling more and faster exploration of burning which could change the costs of airline travel while cleaning the skies.


About SciNet:

SciNet is Canada’s largest supercomputer centre, providing Canadian researchers with the computational resources and expertise necessary to perform their research on scales not previously possible in Canada, from the biomedical sciences and aerospace engineering to astrophysics and climate science. More information is available at .

About HPCS2010:

The High Performance Computing Symposium is Canada’s foremost research supercomputing conference. The 24th HPCS takes place at the University of Toronto on June 5-9, with the theme of `Data Intensive Computing: Across Disciplines, Across Canada’. More information is available at .

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Media Contact:
Jillian Dempsey, 416.978.2922
SciNet HPC Consortium