Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



In its broad definition, combustion is the burning of any substance in gaseous, liquid, or solid form. The science of combustion and fuels involves research directed at discovering substances that burn cleanly and produce energy effeciently and economically.


The Challenge

While fossil fuels remain the least expensive and most available energy resource, the use of fossil fuels over the last 200 years has contributed to a 30 percent increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which according to computer models may result in detrimental climate change. Furthermore, the acquisition of foreign oil can cause geopolitical conflicts and economical disruptions. These consequences related to the dependence on fossil fuels present a pressing national security concern.


The Solution

Energy research at Livermore Laboratory is devoted to discovering sustainable, carbon-free combustible fuels for the future, with the purpose of:

  • Understanding the impact of energy choices on the climate and on national security
  • Developing energy technologies that mitigate climate change and protect the environment
  • Deploying observation systems that verify greenhouse gas emission reductions and provide stewardship of the environment

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Physical and Life Sciences Directorate »

The central feature of the Combustion Chemistry project at LLNL's Physical and Life Sciences Directorate is the development, validation, and application of detailed chemical kinetic reaction mechanisms for the combustion of hydrocarbon and other types of chemical fuels.