I am delighted to announce that our peat fire paper has received the 2013 Distinguished Paper Award on Fire Research at the 34th International Symposium on Combustion. This research award is given biannually by the Combustion Institute.
The work studies the chemistry of smouldering combustion of peat. Peat fires, like those causing haze episodes in South East Asia, are the largest fires on Earth but a poorly understood, yet extensive source of greenhouse gases, and are emerging as a hot topic in climate-change mitigation. These novel combustion experiments provide the framework to study smouldering dynamics by carefully varying the controlling mechanisms and providing burning conditions that otherwise cannot be obtained.This multidisciplinary paper merges the fields of combustion and geoscience, and serves as an example of mechanical engineering contributing to understand Earth-science disciplines like ecology, biodiversity, and biogeochemistry.