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High-performance Computing May Improve Combustion Efficiency

Date:
September 11, 2005
Source:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Summary:
Rising oil prices have revved momentum to develop more efficient combustion systems. But instrumental to this goal is a need to achieve greater understanding of the complex chemical reactions involved in combustion processes.

Rising oil prices have revved momentum to develop more efficient combustion systems. But instrumental to this goal is a need to achieve greater understanding of the complex chemical reactions involved in combustion processes.

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In one of the largest simulations ever brought to bear on this problem, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory performed quantum chemical calculations to accurately predict the heat of formation of octane, a key component of gasoline.

The calculation-performed using 1,400 parallel processors-took only 23 hours to complete and achieved a sustained efficiency of 75 percent, compared to the 5 to 10 percent efficiency of most codes. For comparison, the best one-processor desktop computer would have required a three and a half years and 2.5 terabytes of memory to run the calculation.

These pioneering calculations also helped identify the level of theory needed for subsequent efforts to reliably predict the heat of formation of larger alkanes in diesel fuel, for which there is very little experimental data, and the heat of formation of key reactive intermediates, such as alkyl and alkoxy radicals, for which there is no experimental data.

###

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa researcher David Dixon presented his results Monday, Aug. 29. Dixon conducted his research as a user of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "High-performance Computing May Improve Combustion Efficiency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050911110208.htm>.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. (2005, September 11). High-performance Computing May Improve Combustion Efficiency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050911110208.htm
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "High-performance Computing May Improve Combustion Efficiency." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050911110208.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

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