bgmaster bgmaster bgmaster bgmaster bgmaster bgmaster

ESR15 (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Host Institution: Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)

Aero-Thermo-Mechanical Department, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Phone: +32(0)493567265 


Research interests

The main research area which I am focused on is related to the numerical simulation of combustion process, and specifically aimed at Sub-grid models for LES simulation of non-conventional combustion regimes. The research activities I am going to conduct regarding my thesis topic are at first, making a combustion-LES tool implementing the implicit LES, EDC and PaSR paradigms available using the OpenFOAM code. Second, the impact of detailed and reduced chemistry will be also assessed. And in the end, a validation process by using data from literature or experiments will be included. My research goal is to have an insight investigations on the role of filtering and sub-closure models for relatively low-Da number systems.


Personal page


  • Nov 2015-Present. PhD in Aero-Thermo-Mechanical Department at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Nov 2014-Oct 2015. Student Research Assistant in Mechanical Process Engineering at Universität Stuttgart, Germany
  • Apr 2014-Sept 2014. Student Research Project in Fraunhofer-Institut for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, Germany
  • Sept 2013-Oct 2015. Master Program of Environmental Process Engineering at Universität Stuttgart, Germany
  • Sept 2009-June 2013. Bachelor Program of Environmental Engineering at Sun Yat-sen University, China


Selected publications

  • Changming D., Dongwei H., Hongxia L., Mudan X., Kui W., Lu Z., Zhiyi L. et al.  Adsorption of acid orange II from aqueous solution by plasma modified activated carbon fibers, Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, 2012 , DOI 10.1007/s11090-012-9412-x. (SCI/EI, SCI IF=2.384) Sept. 2012
  • Changming D., Hui L., Mudan X., Dong G., Dongwei H., Zhiyi L. et al.Adsorption of iron and lead ions from an aqueous solution by plasma-modified activated carbon, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2012,  DOI 10.1021/ie302011n. (SCI IF=2.237, SCI Section 2) Oct. 2012 
  • Zhiyi Li, Alberto Cuoci and Alessandro Parente, "Large Eddy Simulation of MILD combustion using nite rate chemistry: e ect of combustion sub-grid closure", Proceedings of Combustion Institute, 2019.
  • Zhiyi Li, Micha l T. Lewandowski, Francesco Contino and Alessandro Parente "Assessment of On-the-Fly Chemistry Reduction and Tabulation Approaches for the Simulation of Moderate or Intense Low-Oxygen Dilution Combustion", Energy & Fuels, 2018, 32 (10), pp 10121–10131.
  • Zhiyi Li, Marco Ferrarotti, Alberto Cuoci and Alessandro Parente, "Finite-rate chemistry modelling of non-conventional combustion regimes using a Partially-Stirred Reactor closure: combustion model formulation and implementation details",
    Applied Energy 225, 637-655 (2018).

  • Zhiyi Li, Alberto Cuoci, Amsini Sadiki and Alessandro Parente, "Comprehensive numerical study of the Adelaide Jet in Hot-Co-flow burner by means of RANS and detailed chemistry", Energy 139, 555-570 (2017).

  • Marco Ferrarotti, Zhiyi Li and Alessandro Parente, "On the role of mixing models in the simulation of MILD combustion using nite-rate chemistry combustion models", Proceedings of Combustion Institute, 2019.

  • Gianmarco Aversano, Aurelie Bellemans, Zhiyi Li, Axel Coussement, Olivier Gicquel and Alessandro Parente, "Application of Reduced-Order Models based on PCA & Kriging for the development of digital twins of reacting flow applications",
    Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2019.


Project title: Sub-grid models for LES simulation of non-conventional combustion regimes

Objectives. Combustion models for LES usually rely on the flamelet assumption and related modifications, which constrain the thermochemical space accessible in the numerical simulation. Whilst the use of transported PDF methods in LES appears still computationally prohibitive, especially for practical combustion systems, there are a number of sub-grid models showing promise for the inclusion of detailed kinetic mechanisms. The objective of the present study will be that of assessing the role of sub-grid models for the LES simulation of non-conventional combustion regimes. In particular, implicit LES (ILES) will be compared to other existing closures for finite-rate chemistry models, including Eddy Dissipation Concept (EDC) and the Partially Stirred Reactor approach (PASR).

Expected results. The doctorate is expected to provide insight in the role of filtering and sub-closure models for relatively low-Da number systems as the ones investigated in the present project. A combustion-LES tool implementing the implicit LES, EDC and PaSR paradigms shall be made available using the OpenFOAM code. This will allow including detailed chemistry in LES simulations. Moreover, the impact of detailed and reduced chemistry will be also assessed, allowing optimising computational resources in the framework of large-scale combustion simulations. The numerical simulations will be validated using data from the literature and collected in a newly designed MILD combustion furnace installed at ULB.

Planned secondment. DE-TUD (8-10 months). Validation of the EDC and PaSR approaches.


Project ID: 643134

Call: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014

Amount: EUR 3,832,293

Content: 15 PhD Students (ESR)

Period: 48 months

Starting date: 1st January 2015

Partners: 4 academic, 3 industrial & T.I.M.E.

Countries: BE, D, F, IT

Coordinator: Politecnico di Milano (IT)

CLEAN-Gas Network

The Project involves 4 partners from Academia (Politecnico di Milano, Centrale Supélec, Technische Universität Darmstadt, and Université Libre de Bruxelles) and 3 industrial partners (Ansaldo Energia, Rolls-Royce Deutschland, and Numeca) and T.I.M.E. Association. The network activities are coordinated by Politecnico di Milano.


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The CLEAN-Gas Project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research, technological development, and demonstration under grant agreement no. 643134-CLEAN-Gas.



Scientific Programme

One of the originalities is to link the different teams together with four additional industrial partners in order to suggest and develop new complementary perspectives combining mathematics and physics, chemistry and fluid mechanics, computation and experiments, all these different approaches aiming at a final real scale application for industrial use by companies.

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Educational Programme

One innovative aspect of the program is to offer an extensive and prospective view of research to candidates with the goal to prepare them to become the researchers of tomorrow. The candidates' education will not be only a scientific research program, but also instruction on how to develop their understanding of research, their own responsibilities and their professional abilities.

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Mobility Programme

Mobility is essential for research. Candidates will spend a first year mainly dedicated to their learning and knowledge development in one or the two co-tutelle institutions, followed by 1 or 2 semesters of intensive exchanges between the two. Then candidates will take a step back during the last semester for the synthesis of the work.

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