Top

William Roberts

Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Director, Clean Combustion Research Center

Physical Science and Engineering Division
Center membership : 
Clean Combustion


High-pressure Combustion (HPC) research group

Education Profile

  • ​​​​​​​​Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1992
  • B.S.E. (Ae.E.), University of Michigan, 1986

Research Interests


Professor Roberts' primary research focus is on experimental studies in laminar and turbulent jet diffusion flames, flame-vortex interactions, non-linear optical diagnostics as applied to reacting flows, soot formation, high pressure flames, constant volume combustion engines and thermo-catalytic fuel conversion technologies for next generation biofuels.

Selected Publications

  • ​A. M. Elbaz and W. L. Roberts, ‘Flame Structure of Methane Inverse Diffusion Flame’ Experimental thermal and Fluid Sciences, 56 23-32 (2014)
  • J. P. Ford, N. Thapaliya, M. J. Kelly, W. L Roberts, and H. H. Lamb, “Semi-Batch Deoxygenation of Canola- and Lard-Derived Fatty Acids to Diesel-Range Hydrocarbons,” Energy and Fuels 27(12) 7489-7496 (2013)
  • W.-C. Wang, E. Allen, A. A. Campos, R. K. Cade, L. Dean, J. G. Immer, S. Mixson, S. Srirangan, M-L Sauer, S. Schreck, K. Sun, N. Thapaliya, C. Wilson, J. Burkholder, A. M. Grunden, H. H. Lamb, H. Sederoff, L. F. Stikeleather, W. L. Roberts, “ASI: Dunaliella Marine Microalgae to Drop-In Replacement Liquid Transportation Fuels,” Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy 32, No 4, 916-925 (2013)
  • W. Jing, W. L. Roberts, and T. Fang, “Effects Of Ambient Temperature And Oxygen Concentration On Diesel Spray Combustion Using A Single-Nozzle Injector In A Constant Volume Combustion Chamber,” Comb Sci Technol 185: 1378-1399 (2013)
  • W.-C Wang, R. H. Natelson, L.F. Stikeleather, and W.L. Roberts, “Product Sampling during Transient Continuous Countercurrent Hydrolysis of Canola Oil and Development of a Kinetic Model,” Computers & Chemical Engineering 58 144-155 (2013)
  • J. Zhang, W. Jing, W. L. Roberts, and T. Fang, ‘Effects of Ambient Oxygen Concentration on Biodiesel and Diesel Spray Combustion Under Simulated Engine Conditions,’ Energy 57 722-732 (2013)
  • D. G. Nash, N. B. Swanson, W. Preston, T. L. B. Yelverton, W. L. Roberts, J. O. L. Wendt, W. P. Linak, “Interactions Between Ion Fuel-Borne Additives and Diesel Particulate Emissions,” J. Aerosol Science 58 50-61 (2013)
  • J. Zhang, W. Jing, W. L. Roberts, and T. Fang, “Soot temperature and KL factor for biodiesel and diesel spray combustion in a constant volume combustion chamber,” Applied Energy 107 52-65 (2013)
  • Ranjith Kumar A.K, T. L. B. Yelverton, T. Fang, and W. L. Roberts, “Effect of Diluents on Soot Precursor Formation and Temperature at Elevated Pressures in Laminar Diffusion Flames,” Combustion and Flame 160/3 656-670 (2013)
  • M. D. Bohon and W. L Roberts, “NOx Emissions from High Swirl Turbulent Flames with Highly Oxygenated Fuels,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 34/1 1705-1712 (2013)
  • Ranjith Kumar A.K, E. K. Book, T. Fang, and W. L. Roberts, ‘Hydrocarbon Species Concentrations in Nitrogen Diluted Ethylene-air Laminar Jet Diffusion Flames At Elevated Pressures,’ Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 34/11035-1043 (2013)
  • S. A. Steinmetz, J. S. Herrington, C. Winterrowd, W. L. Roberts, J. O. L. Wendt, and W. P. Linak, “Crude Glycerol Combustion: Particulate, Acrolein, And Other Volatile Organic Emissions,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 34/2 2749-2757 (2013)
  • P.-C. Chen, W.-C. Wang, W. L. Roberts, and T. Fang, “Spray and Atomization of Diesel Fuel and its Alternatives from a Single-Hole Injector Using a Common Rail Fuel Injection System,” Fuel 103 850-861 (2013)
  • M. C. Yin, R. H. Natelson, A. Campos, P. Kolar, and W. L Roberts, “Aromatization of n-Octane over Pd/C Catalysts,” Fuel 103 408-413 (2013)
  • W.-C Wang, L.F. Stikeleather, and W.L. Roberts, “Hydrocarbon Fuels from Gas Phase Decarboxylation of Hydrolyzed Free Fatty Acid,” ASME-Journal of Energy Resource Technology 134:3 Sep (2012)
  • W.-C Wang, R. H. Natelson, L.F. Stikeleather, and W.L. Roberts, “CFD Simulation of Transient Stage of Continuous Countercurrent Hydrolysis of Canola Oil,” Computers & Chemical Engineering, 43, 108-119 (2012)
  • W.-C Wang, T.L. Turner, L.F. Stikeleather, and W.L. Roberts, “Exploration of Process Parameters for Continuous Hydrolysis of Canola Oil, Camelina Oil and Algal Oil,” Chem Eng Process; Proc Inten 57-57, 51-58 (2012)
  • W.-C Wang, R. H. Natelson, L.F. Stikeleather, and W.L. Roberts, “Direct Injection of Superheated Steam for Continuous Hydrolysis Reaction,” Chem Eng Process; Proc Inten 59: 52-59 (2012)
  • W.-C Wang, N. Thapalia, A. Campos, L.F. Stikeleather, and W.L. Roberts, “Hydrocarbon Fuels from Vegetable Oils via Hydrolysis and Thermo-catalytic Decarboxylation,” FUEL 95:1, 622-629 (2012)