Course syllabus


MEN031 Combustion engineering lp4 VT22 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Space, Earth and Environment

Contact details

List of...


Martin Seemann, Chalmers (Energy Technology),

Head teachers       

David Pallarès, Chalmers (Energy Technology),

Martin Seemann, Chalmers (Energy Technology),


Ivan, Gogolev, Chalmers (Energy Technology),

 Renesteban Forero, Chalmers (Energy Technology),

Visiting lecturers:  

Fredrik Lind, E.on AB

Jenny Larfeldt, Södra AB (previously Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB)

Sven Andersson, Chalmers/Babcock & Wilcox

Margareta Lundberg, Valmet AB


Course purpose

The aim is to introduce the student to the principles of thermal and thermochemical conversion of feedstocks and fuels, i.e. the utilization of a fuel by combustion or gasification to generate heat or power or thermal recycling of plastics and waste.

Combustion engineering consists of two parts; the first is related to the conversion process itself and can be denoted combustion science. The second is related to applications and can be denoted devices and processes.

The main part of the course is related to combustion science, since it is fundamental and essential for an understanding of the design choices made and operation of the devices.

Combustion science can be divided into two subparts; where the first is related to the basic knowledge of chemistry, physics and properties of the various fuels, which are needed for the second part. The second is related to combustion phenomena, such as: criteria for combustion, combustion of various fuels, decomposition behaviour and generation and destruction of emissions.

The second part of the course covers devices, and gives a brief overview of various types of combustors, gasifiers and new developments in the field. It is intended to acquaint the student with the most common techniques and designs in use today.




Course literature

Compendium, Combustion Engineering (will be distributed)

Supplementary literature on chemical principles used in the course can be found in the books Chemical Principles (Zumdahl) and Chemical Principles (Atkins)

there especially the following parts are recommended for students that lack the knowledge on thoses principles.

Stoichiometry (Atkins)

Enthalpy (Zumdahl)

chemical equilibrium (Zumdahl)


Chemical Principles (Zumdahl), Chemical Principles (Atkins)

Course design


The course comprises five activities:

  1. Lectures
  2. Demonstration of phenomena and study visit
  3. A build-up case study divided into 5 assignments and 1 completing task. Sessions are scheduled for introduction, support and solution to the assignments and completing task. Short written individual reports are handed in for each assignment and one group report for the completing task. Reports must be handed in at latest one week after the last corresponding session and will be corrected once
  4. Compulsory presentation of the completing task in Point 3
  5. A concluding written examination

Learning objectives:


  • Account for the most important fuels and feedstocks, their characteristics, decomposition behaviour and different factors that decide their use.
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of the chemistry associated with thermal and thermochemical decomposition, which includes stoichiometry, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, kinetic or diffusion controlled processes and adiabatic temperature.
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of the physics associated with combustion, which includes the conservation equations of total mass, specific species and energy, dimensionless numbers and the influence of turbulence and ways to handle it.
  • Establish and solve a scheme of basic chemical reactors for a given combustion situation.
  • Understand the criteria for ignition/initiation and extinction.
  • Understand relevant analytical concepts for basic estimations of relevant properties, and have the capability to use these for analyzing issues related to the conversion of various types of different feedstock and fuels.
  • Account for the major emissions associated with combustion, their generation and destruction paths and measures to minimize pollutant emissions in different combustion devices.
  • Account for the design of different combustion devices, such as gas turbines, internal combustion engines, boilers and furnaces.
  • for the design of thermochemical conversion devices such as pyrolyzers, gasifiers and thermal crackers
  • Be able to take forward a design prospect for the optimal design of a large-scale furnace given a fuel type, thermal power, design temperature and allowed emission levels.


Examination form

To get approved you need:

Approved assignments

Approved written examination

Course summary:

Date Details Due