Computational Combustion using Python and Cantera

Computational Combustion using Python and Cantera

The Computational Combustion using Python and Cantera from Skill-Lyc is an essential course for mechanical engineering students who are interested in the combustion and CFD domain. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of thermodynamics, equilibrium chemistry, and elementary reactions. With Python and Cantera, students will learn Ignition delay calculation, flame speed calculation and more advanced topics in combustion.

  • 0% EMI Option Available
  • Pre-requisites : CFD, Combustion Simulations, Chemical Kinetics
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A Quick Overview

Cantera is an open-source suite of tools for problems involving chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport processes. Computational combustion is a field of numerical modelling and simulations using advanced large‐scale parallel systems and offers a new avenue to analyze and interpret the dynamics of acoustic‐flame‐vortex interactions that occur in most combustion systems. 

The course comes under the domain of mechanical and automotive engineering with CFD as a sub-domain. The Cantera library can be imported to MATLAB, Python, and C++. Python is the language of choice because it's widely used and can handle the operations better than MATLAB or C++. 

This course is useful for students and working professionals who have a background in thermodynamics and programming and are interested in learning about the function of engines and combustion modelling.


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1Fundamentals of Chemistry

In this module, you will learn about different fuel types, species nomenclature, and concepts such as:
  • Molecular weight
  • Moles
  • Density
  • Mass Fraction, Mole Fraction, and PPM
  • Vapour pressure
  • Equation of state
  • Air fuel ratio
  • Equivalence ratio
This module covers the various properties of thermodynamics as well as combustion which is very useful in modelling the combustion. The relation between various properties helps you make the right decision and the results are compared with the numerical data of those properties. The module also covers the units of the above entities and their significance. 

2Intermediary Thermodynamics

This module provides the opportunity to refresh your basics in thermodynamics and learn several intermediary concepts such as:

  • Enthalpy of reaction
  • Adiabatic flame temperature
  • Lower and higher heating values

This module will cover concepts that are helpful to understand the derived properties of chemical kinetics and help understand the rate of reactions and their impact on reactor systems. 

The above parameters can be a good starting point for optimizing the reactor system. The theoretical calculation of the above parameters will help you to understand the practicality of the system we are designing.

3Equilibrium Chemistry

Equilibrium chemistry models are very commonly used to construct simplified combustion models. In this module, you will learn the following:

  • Full Equilibrium
  • Water Gas Equilibrium
  • Pressure effects
  • Understanding NASA's thermodynamic data files

This module will teach the difference between homogeneous and heterogeneous equilibrium. Understanding the equilibrium will allow you to understand if a chemical reaction is at equilibrium and the direction the chemical reaction must proceed to attain equilibrium. 

It helps you to understand the new equilibrium attained when a change in concentration of either a reactant or a product is made to a system initially at equilibrium. Besides, this module will also teach you to read NASA or any other standard data, which helps design the reactor system. 

4Elementary Reactions

This module will introduce to chemical kinetics and you will learn the following topics:

  • Global and elementary reactions
  • Rate of a reaction
  • Forward rate and backward rate
  • CHEMKIN formatted mechanism file

In this module, we define the reaction rate and a few associated terms and introduce the simplest type of chemical reaction which is single-step reactions known as elementary reactions. We will investigate the various factors that determine the rate of an elementary reaction, which allows you to calculate rate constants and explain their temperature dependence

5Introduction to Python and Cantera

In this module, you will study Python - an extremely popular programming language. You will learn Python by writing programs related to chemical kinetics. Once you can write simple programs in Python, we will introduce you to Cantera. With Cantera, you will be able to simulate different types of combustion systems. Cantera is an extremely popular tool that is used in several universities and organizations for research and industrial purposes.

6Ignition Delay Calculation

Ignition delay is the time lag between the start of injection to start of the combustion when the air-fuel mixture is ignited. It is one of the major factors that help in determining the performance of an IC engine. In this module, we will teach you to build several zero-dimensional reactors. These types of simulations will be used to predict the ignition delay and flame speeds of popular fuels.

The objective of the module is to study the dependence of ignition delay time on: 

  • Cylinder ambient gas temperature 
  • Cylinder ambient gas pressure
  • Injection pressure 
  • Injector nozzle orifice diameter

7Flame Speed Calculation

While designing combustion systems, flame speed plays an important role in determining their performance. In this module, you will learn how to calculate flame speeds. Note that this parameter depends upon the type of reaction mechanism that is being employed and the thermodynamic conditions in the combustion chamber. You will also perform a sensitivity analysis that helps you determine which of the elementary reactions are going to affect the flame speed the most.

8Advanced Topics in Combustion

In this module you will learn the following topics:

  • Perfectly stirred reactor
  • Steady-state combustion and its relevance for gas turbine applications
  • Extinction and blow off limits
  • Premixed, diffusion, and partially premixed flames

9Introduction to 3D Combustion

In this module, you will be trained in the core concepts that are used while simulating combustion in complex 3D geometry. Here you will learn about the current trends along with the cutting edge tools that are used in the industry.

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Computational Combustion using Python & Cantera

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Projects Overview

Flame Temperature


The adiabatic flame temperature for a given fuel-oxidizer combination is determined by finding the final state temperature (i.e. the adiabatic flame temperature) for which the sum of the enthalpies of the reactants equals the sum of the enthalpies of the products. The calculation of thermal efficiency becomes easy once we know the AFT. The efficiency further allows you to improvise the reactor system. 

Combustion Efficiency


A recuperator is a heat exchanger in which energy from the exhaust of hot combustion products, i.e. flue gases, is transferred to the inlet air for increasing its temperature. The effect of such preheating of air can be seen in improving combustion efficiency as well as Adiabatic Flame Temperature. This analysis is performed to effectively utilize the exhaust gas recirculation and increase the efficiency of the reactor. 



In this project, you will be solving a STIFF ODE system from scratch. This helps you understand how reacting systems are solved.
The Newton-Raphson method (also known as Newton's method) is a way to quickly find a good approximation for the root of a real-valued function f(x)=0. It uses the idea that a straight line tangent can approximate a continuous and differentiable function to it. This numerical method is effective for stiff ODEs. 

Auto Ignition


In this project, you will be exposed to the Cantera reactor network and its uses in solving various models. The reactor network allows you to calculate the expansion/compression work, heat transfer, mass transfer, and surface interaction with the environment. The auto-ignition gives the time required for combustion to take place and to control it can be beneficial for controlling pollutants as well as for complete combustion.

Sensitivity Analysis


The correct description of chemical changes requires the application of reaction mechanisms consisting of several hundred or thousand reactions. This means that a huge number of parameters describes the chemistry of the combustion process. Hence, the application of the sensitivity analysis techniques is very useful for its understanding of those parameters. 

Detailed chemical models are too big for many practical combustion simulations. Sensitivity analysis can be used for mechanism reduction, that is, finding a smaller model that produces similar predictions for some of the variables (i.e., species concentrations and temperature).

Flame Speed


The flame speed is the measured rate of expansion of the flame front in the combustion reaction. The flame speed of fuel is a property that determines its ability to undergo controlled combustion without detonation. This project is the study of flame speed by considering the effect of temperature, pressure and concentration on it.

Reaction Reduction


This detailed mechanism for methane-air combustion(GRI3.0) is probably the most famous one. It comprises 325 reactions and 53 species. The reduced mechanisms include only the top reactions and the associated species. The reduced mechanisms with a certain number of species are able to adequately simulate the ignition delay, sensitivity problem. Such a reduced mechanism saves a lot of computational resources as well as time. 


  • The course is suitable for students who have a background in thermodynamics and chemistry. Students in the 3rd year of engineering can also take this course to understand how computational combustion works.
  • The organizations that work in this domain will recruit students for the positions of research engineers or CFD engineers.
  • Students who are interested in an academic position like that of a research assistantship or research associate can also take this course.



Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. It supports multiple programming paradigms, including structured (particularly, procedural), object-oriented, and functional programming. Python is often described as a "batteries included" language due to its comprehensive standard library.


Cantera is an open-source suite of tools for problems involving chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport processes. Cantera utilizes object-oriented concepts for robust yet flexible phase models, and algorithms are generalized so that users can explore different phase models with minimal changes to their overall code.

Flexible Course Fees

Choose the plan that’s right for you


2 Months Access


Per month for 3 months

  • Access Duration : 2 months
  • Mode of Delivery : Online
  • Project Portfolio : Available
  • Certification : Available
  • Email Support : Available
  • Forum Support : Available

Lifetime Access


Per month for 3 months

  • Access Duration : Lifetime
  • Mode of Delivery : Online
  • Project Portfolio : Available
  • Certification : Available
  • Individual Video Support : 12/month
  • Group Video Support : 12/month
  • Email Support : Available
  • Forum Support : Available
  • Telephone Support : Available
  • Dedicated Support Engineer : Available


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  • Top 5% of the class will get a merit certificate
  • Course completion certificates will be provided to all students
  • Build a professional portfolio
  • Automatically link your technical projects
  • E-verified profile that can be shared on LinkedIn


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Frequently Asked Questions

1Who are the instructors and what is the learning process?

Our instructors are industry experts who are working or have worked in Fortune 500 companies. We also partner with academicians who help us craft course content that will best support our students get recruited and start adding value for their organization from day one.
Our course content is pre-recorded. You will be given access to this content immediately after you have enrolled in our course. Alongside the course videos, you will also be given assignments each week. You will work on these assignments and have it evaluated by our technical support engineers. Apart from this, you will also work on industry-oriented projects that will improve your understanding of the various tools used in the industry and their underlying principles. 

2Are there any prerequisites for this course?

You should be pursuing or have graduated with a B.E/B.Tech in Mechanical or Automotive Engineering.

3What kind of support I can expect? What if I have doubts?

Our team of dedicated Technical Support Engineers are always available to answer any queries you might have when you are studying. Studying online courses on your own often comes with the problem of lacking motivation, our Technical Support Engineers will work with you to ensure that you complete the course work and start working in the domain of your interest.  

There are a number of ways through which you have your query answered.
You can ask your questions by raising tickets from your student window screen, and a technical support engineer will respond and help you achieve conceptual clarity. If you did not understand the solution, you can request the technical engineer to share their screen with you and they will explain the areas that you find difficult. Apart from this, you can also send us an email, which we will respond to in under 24 hours. You can also call us at our helpline number - which will be provided once you have enrolled in a course. 

We also have group doubt clarification sessions, where you will interact with your fellow batchmates. This will allow you to understand the different ways your fellow batchmates are using to solve a question. Besides this, you can also raise your queries through the Whatsapp number that will be made available to you.

4How is this different from what I learnt in college?

A: The course that you studied in college was designed years ago and does not take into account the current market trends or what the industry expects from graduates. Our courses have been designed in consultation with industry experts and leading academicians. Skill-Lync courses are geared to help you find employment as soon as you complete the coursework. This is possible only because of the projects that you will complete as part of your curriculum, in your college you might have done one major and one minor project. But, each module in a Skill-Lync course has a corresponding project, and these projects are industry-oriented. Which means that if you were to look at the project that an engineer at a top OEM is working on, it will be similar to a Skill-Lync project, the only difference being the scale of the project. 

Simply put - there's a world of a difference between what you have studied at your college and what you will get trained in when you study at Skill-Lync.

5What advantages will I gain by taking this course?

You will have an edge over your peers by working extensively on industry-relevant projects, practice on tools and software that will set you apart and help you in getting ahead of the competition. Along with this, when you enroll in a Skill-Lync course you will get access to the Skill-Lync Student Success Team - who will ensure that you get placed at the end of your course. They will help you polish your resume, and help you properly present your projects on your LinkedIn and other external pages. They will also scour for any opportunity that you might be qualified for and help you apply for it. After which they will help you train in all the possible variations of interview questions. Before the interview, you will also be trained in tool tests, in which your comprehension of all the tools that you have studied in the duration of the course will be cemented along with the underlying principles.

6Do I get access to the software?

Python and Cantera are open source libraries.

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