Patrick Kirchen

Patrick Kirchen

Associate Professor

B.Sc., M.Sc. (University of Alberta), Dr. sc. Techn. (ETH Zurich), Postdoctoral Associate (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

phone:  (604) 822-8256
office: CEME 2062

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

  • M. Khosravi, and P. Kirchen, “Refinement of the two-color pyrometry method for application in a direct injection diesel and natural gas compression-ignition engine,” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering, p.0954407019832774, 2019.
  • D.E. Sommer, and P. Kirchen, “Towards improved partial oxidation product yield in mixed ionic-electronic membrane reactors using CSTR and CFD modelling,” Chemical Engineering Science195, pp.11-22, 2019.
  • D. Sommer, M. Yeremi, J. Son, J. Corbin, S. Gagné, P. Lobo, J.W. Miller, and P. Kirchen, “Characterization and Reduction of in-use CH4 Emissions from a Dual Fuel Marine Engine Using Wavelength Modulation Spectroscopy,” Environmental science & technology, 2019.
  • J. Laesecke, N. Ellis, and P. Kirchen, “Production, analysis and combustion characterization of biomass fast pyrolysis oil–Biodiesel blends for use in diesel engines,” Fuel199, pp.346-357, 2017.
  • E. Faghani, P. Kheirkhah, C.W. Mabson, G. McTaggart-Cowan, P. Kirchen, and S. Rogak, “Effect of Injection Strategies on Emissions from a Pilot-Ignited Direct-Injection Natural-Gas Engine-Part II: Slightly Premixed Combustion(No. 2017-01-0763),” SAE Technical Paper, 2017.
  • E. Faghani, P. Kheirkhah, C.W. Mabson, G. McTaggart-Cowan, P. Kirchen, and S. Rogak, “Effect of Injection Strategies on Emissions from a Pilot-Ignited Direct-Injection Natural-Gas Engine-Part I: Late Post Injection (No. 2017-01-0774),” SAE Technical Paper, 2017.
  • J. Rochussen, J. Son, J. Yeo, M. Khosravi, P. Kirchen, and G. McTaggart-Cowan, “Development of a Research-Oriented Cylinder Head with Modular Injector Mounting and Access for Multiple In-Cylinder Diagnostics (No. 2017-24-0044),” SAE Technical Paper, 2017.
  • J. Rochussen, J. Yeo, and P. Kirchen, “Effect of fueling control parameters on combustion and emissions characteristics of diesel-ignited methane dual-fuel combustion(No. 2016-01-0792),” SAE Technical Paper, 2016.
  • J. Yeo, J. Rochussen, and P. Kirchen, “Application of an In-Cylinder Local Infrared Absorption Fuel Concentration Sensor in a Diesel-Ignited Dual-Fuel Engine (No. 2016-01-2310),” SAE Technical Paper, 2016.
  • C.W. Mabson, E. Faghani, P. Kheirkhah, P. Kirchen, S.N. Rogak, and G. McTaggart-Cowan, “Combustion and Emissions of Paired-Nozzle Jets in a Pilot-Ignited Direct-Injection Natural Gas Engine (No. 2016-01-0807),” SAE Technical Paper, 2016.
  • X.Y. Wu, L. Chang, M. Uddi, P. Kirchen, and A.F. Ghoniem, “Toward enhanced hydrogen generation from water using oxygen permeating LCF membranes,” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics17(15), pp.10093-10107, 2015.
  • E. Faghani, P. Kirchen, and S.N. Rogak, “Application of Fuel Momentum Measurement Device for Direct Injection Natural Gas Engines (No. 2015-01-0915),” SAE Technical Paper, 2015.
  • A. Hunt, G. Dimitrakopoulos, P. Kirchen, and A. F. Ghoniem, “Measuring the oxygen profile and permeation flux across an ion transport (La0. 9Ca0. 1FeO3- δ) membrane and the development and validation of a multistep surface exchange model,” Journal of Membrane Science, 2014.
  • J. Hong, P. Kirchen, and A. F. Ghoniem, “Analysis of heterogeneous oxygen exchange and fuel oxidation on the catalytic surface of perovskite membranes,” Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 445, pp. 96–106, 2013.
  • P. Kirchen, D. J. Apo, A. Hunt, and A. F. Ghoniem, “A novel ion transport membrane reactor for fundamental investigations of oxygen permeation and oxy-combustion under reactive flow conditions,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 3463–3470, 2013.
  • J. Hong, P. Kirchen, and A. F. Ghoniem, “Interactions between oxygen permeation and homogeneous-phase fuel conversion on the sweep side of an ion transport membrane,” Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 428, pp. 309–322, 2013.
  • J. Hong, P. Kirchen, and A. F. Ghoniem, “Laminar oxy-fuel diffusion flame supported by an oxygen-permeable-ion-transport membrane,” Combustion and Flame, vol. 160, no. 3, pp. 704–717, 2013.
  • M. A. Habib, P. Ahmed, R. Ben-Mansour, H. M. Badr, P. Kirchen, and A. F. Ghoniem, “Modeling of a combined ion transport and porous membrane reactor for oxy-combustion,” Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 446, pp. 230–243, 2013.
  • J. Hong, P. Kirchen, and A. F. Ghoniem, “Numerical simulation of ion transport membrane reactors: oxygen permeation and transport and fuel conversion,” Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 407, pp. 71–85, 2012.
  • P. Kirchen, P. Obrecht, K. Boulouchos, and A. Bertola, “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, vol. 132, no. 11, p. 112804, 2010.

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