Khalifa University Launches Atlas Elektronik High Pressure Combustion Center in Collaboration with Tawazun Council

July 20, 2023

Modern Facility to Carry Out Research Focusing on Gas Turbine Combustors Used for Ground and Aero Applications

Khalifa University of Science and Technology today announced the launch of Atlas Elektronik High Pressure Combustion Center, a state-of-the-art facility, in collaboration with Tawazun Council, the UAE’s defense and security acquisitions authority for the Ministry of Defense, Abu Dhabi Police and Security Agencies, and Atlas Elektronik, a global leader in naval and marine electronics, especially integrated sonar systems.

Located at Khalifa University’s Sas Al Nakhl (SAN) Campus, the new center will carry out research projects focusing on combustors used for ground and aero applications and highly advanced gas turbine technologies. Designed and built by ATD Combustors (ATDC), the center includes a high-pressure combustion tunnel, as well as all ancillary equipment needed to provide the combustion with air and fuel at desired conditions. It is also equipped with a state-of-the-art laser system for studying flame chemistry and flame structure. ATD specializes in turbomachinery components and advanced combustion systems technologies.

The center will allow Khalifa University to develop and train students in the energy space and equip them to make significant contributions to the country’s economy. Students who conduct research at this center are expected to be the most sought after by major industrial and energy companies.

The Atlas Elektronik High Pressure Combustion Center will enable Khalifa University researchers and their industrial collaborators to work together on pioneering high-efficiency, low-emission technologies that will include research on fuels like natural gas, green and blue hydrogen, and ammonia, which could help UAE companies drastically reduce their carbon footprint and their fuel consumption. The objective is to help the university develop sustainable green technologies, which, in turn, will help the UAE accelerate its transformation into a green economy.

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “We are very delighted to launch the Atlas Elektronik High Pressure Combustion Center at Khalifa University, which complements the University’s capabilities in sustainability-relevant research.”

He also said: “Through research development collaborative efforts, Khalifa University works closely with its strategic partners to drive the level of innovation in the UAE forward. Within this framework, this center will undoubtedly help advance the quality of innovation being produced by our research and student community and sustain the University’s position as a leading research and innovation institution in the sustainability space.”

Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, Chief Executive Officer of Tawazun Council: “Tawazun Council supports research and development in advanced technologies through the Tawazun Economic Program, focusing on sustainable applied research, in collaboration with strategic partners, to contribute toward reducing carbon emissions. We also seek to enable and empower students and researchers in the fields of engineering, energy, and developmental testing by equipping them with the most cutting-edge technologies to lead vital sectors of the national economy.”

He added: “The Atlas Elektronik High Pressure Combustion Center contributes toward accelerating the development of advanced technologies by enhancing research and development activities in the field. The center serves as a bridge among the industrial sector, academia, and research institutes, fostering collaborative efforts to develop dual-use applications with low-carbon emission and highly efficient technologies.”

Dr. Majed Toqan, Chief Executive Officer of ATD Combustors, said: “Having such a center in the U.A.E. will accelerate the development of new combustion technologies utilizing green fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia”. 

He also said: “Currently, most if not all effort in the region is focused on producing the green fuels. Very little work is done on the utilization of such fuels once they are produced. Developing green combustion systems using the new center will advance the U.A.E. to become a global leader in the space.” 

Dr. Heinz-Axel Kirchwehm, Head of Industrial Participation and Offset at Atlas Elektronik, said: “Atlas Elektronik has been engaged in this project since its inception and the company is extremely pleased to see that the center is about to be launched in the coming days. This center will help the UAE to become a leader in R&D in fuels utilization technologies.”

Prof. Dimitrios Kyritsis, Chair, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, and Deputy Director, Research and Innovation Center on CO2 and Hydrogen (RICH), Khalifa University, is the technical contact for the project.  A Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Dr. Kyritsis’ expertise in combustion physics and laser diagnostics for reactive flow is expected to benefit this project. (More details here)

The Atlas Elektronik High Pressure Combustion Center offers an opportunity to study the burning process of different types of fuels ranging from natural gas and conventional liquid fuels to green fuels. Of particular relevance is the capability to study high-temperature reactive flows in a controlled manner that will relate not only to CO2 emissions from industrial combustors, but also to management of high-temperature reactive hydrogen-containing streams, as well as the possibility to operate combustors with synthetic fuels that will have zero or even negative global warming potential.

The research facility offers exciting evolutions in the field of low-carbon-footprint gas combustion and energy conversion, currently taking place at Khalifa University’s Research and Innovation Center for CO2 and H2 (RICH).