Patrick Kirchen

Assistant Professor
B.Sc., M.Sc. (University of Alberta)
Dr. sc. Techn. (ETH Zurich)
Postdoctoral Associate (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
ph: 604-822-8256
fax: 604-822-2403

Research Interests

  • Thermochemical energy conversion
  • Combustion
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Ion transport membranes


Current Research Work

  • Internal Combustion Engines

The vast majority of land and water based vehicles are powered by hydrocarbon fuelled internal combustion engines. Because of their widespread application, the environmental impact of engines through the emission of toxic gases and consumption of finite natural resources must be minimized. To this end, research efforts are focused on understanding the impacts of engine operating parameters such as fuel type, injection strategies, and charge preparation on the fundamental combustion and emission formation processes. An engine testing facility is under development to optically characterize these processes using various optical and thermo-optical techniques. The impact of transient engine operation (i.e. dynamic load and speed conditions) is also being considered, with a focus on developing experimental and analytical tools for this purpose.

  • Ion Transport Membrane (ITM) Reactors

ITM reactors present a technology with the potential to significantly reduce the capital and operating costs associated with gas separation (e.g. O­2 from air). When combined with reactive processes, such as oxy-fuel combustion or partial oxidation of methane, higher conversion rates and product selectivities are possible than with conventional co-feed reactors.  My research interests lie in furthering the understanding of the coupling between fuel conversion and gas separation using both numerical and experimental investigations, and applying this knowledge to the development of novel reactor concepts.

Selected Publications

  • Kirchen, P.; Shahbakhti, M. & Koch, C. R. A Skeletal Kinetic Mechanism for PRF Combustion in HCCI engines. Combustion Science and Technology, 2007, 179, 1059-1083. doi:10.1080/00102200600910874.
  • Kirchen, P. & Boulouchos, K. A Phenomenological Mean Value Soot Model for Transient Engine Operation. MTZ Worldwide Edition, 2008, 69, 624-631.
  • Kirchen, P.; Obrecht, P. & Boulouchos, K. Soot Emission Measurements and Validation of a Mean Value Soot Model for Common-Rail Diesel Engines during Transient Operation. SAE Int. J. Engines, 2009, 2, 1663-1678. doi:10.4271/2009-01-1904.
  • Kirchen, P.; Obrecht, P.; Boulouchos, K. & Bertola, A. Exhaust-Stream and In-Cylinder Measurements and Analysis of the Soot Emissions From a Common Rail Diesel Engine Using Two Fuels. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power – Transactions of the ASME, 2010, 132. doi:10.1115/1.4001083.
  • Habib, M. A.; Badr, H. M.; Ahmed, S. F.; Ben-Mansour, R.; Mezghani, K.; Imashuku, S.; la O, G. J.; Shao-Horn, Y.; Mancini, N. D.; Mitsos, A.; Kirchen, P. & Ghoneim, A. F. A Review of Recent Developments in Carbon Capture Utilizing Oxy-Fuel Combustion in Conventional and Ion Transport Membrane Systems. International Journal of Energy Research, 2011, 35, 741-764. doi:10.1002/er.1798.
  • Hong, J.; Kirchen, P. & Ghoniem, A. F. Numerical Simulation of Ion Transport Membrane Reactors: Oxygen Permeation and Transport and Fuel Conversion.
    Journal of Membrane Science, 2012, 407-408, 71 – 85. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2012.03.018.
  • Kirchen, P.; Apo, D. J.; Hunt, A. & Ghoniem, A. F.  A Novel Ion Transport Membrane Reactor for Fundamental Investigations of Oxygen Permeation and Oxy-Combustion under Reactive Flow Conditions. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 2013, 34, 3463 – 3470 . doi:10.1016/j.proci.2012.07.076.
  • Hong, J.; Kirchen, P. & Ghoniem, A. F. Laminar Oxy-Fuel Diffusion Flame Supported by an Oxygen-Permeable-Ion-Transport Membrane. Combustion and Flame, 2013, 160, 704 – 717. doi:10.1016/j.combustflame.2012.11.014.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Applied Science
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Tel: 604.822.6413
Department of Mechanical Engineering
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Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604.822.2781
Fax: 604.822.2403

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