Fuel-air combustion and the generation of irreversibility in high-speed flows are described in terms of the fundamental principles of nonequilibrium, work availability, and entropy increases. Engine thrust is analytically related to the overall engine irreversibility and the degree of combustion: Issues involving mixing enhancement assessment and engine optimization are then formalized and clarified. The concept of thrust-potential, as used in engine design and optimization, is shown to be a consistent application of the principles and findings of this and related investigations. This work was supported through NASA Grant NAG 1-1189. Special thanks are due to Charles McClinton at NASA Langley who, as contract monitor, has been especially supportive, patient, and encouraging during all phases of this work. Appreciation is also expressed to the following individuals at or associated with NASA Langley for their advice and many fruitful discussions over the pad few years: Dennis Bushnell, Griffin Anderson, Clay Rogers, PhD Drummond, Sharon Stack, Paul V i, Bob Bittner, and Aaron Auslender.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Publication Status

Open Access


National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Grant NAG 1- 1 189

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 1996