International Flame Research Foundation
The International Flame Research Foundation is a co-operative research organization and network, founded in 1955 in IJmuiden, the Netherlands, but now having its administrative centre and some research facilities in Livorno, Italy. IFRF has about 150 organisations as members, these being industrial companies or academic institutions interested in industrial combustion. Independent professionals may also join as members.
In addition to its core research function, IFRF contracts research from private companies, manufactures and tests measurement systems, and participates in large European projects. IFRF also facilitates networking for its members both online through a virtual private community, and in the world, organizing conferences, workshops and technical events.
- Its vision is defined as: "To be the international reference point for clean and efficient industrial combustion."
- Its mission statement is: "To advance applied combustion research and promote cooperation and information transfer throughout the international combustion community."
The IFRF Membership Network consists of:
- Industrial companies based in the power generation, petroleum refining, iron and steel, cement, glass, and chemical manufacturing industries; those industries where large quantities of fuel are fired in turbulent diffusion flames for process heating purposes.
- Associated combustion equipment manufacturers and service companies.
- Fuels and industrial gas producers and distributors.
- Companies and research organisations active in the fields of fuel production and utilisation, and energy and environmental matters.
- Universities, as organisations, or through the independent membership of individual staff members.
- Independent professionals.
IFRF Membership is administered by eight National Committees for Flame Research, and also centrally from Livorno via the Associate Members' Group which coordinates services in those regions not covered by the National Committees.
National Committees and the Associate Members' Group together provide services to twenty one countries around the world. The IFRF Membership Network extends from the Americas through Europe to Central and East Asia, and to Australia.
The National Committees are:
- French Flame (Comité Français) - CF (member organisations)
- Italian Flame (Comitato Italiano) - CI (member organisations)
- Dutch Flame (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlamonderzoek) - NVV (member organisations)
- Swedish Flame Research Committee - SFRC (member organisations)
and Associate Members Group - AMG (member organisations)
The basis for the Foundation were laid in 1948 with the establishment of an International Flame Radiation Research Committee. The use of the word "Radiation" reflected the centre of interest of the Members at that time.
The organisation presently known as the International Flame Research Foundation - IFRF - came into being in 1955 with changes in name and structure reflecting growth in the scope of the work and the size of the organisation. The IFRF was formed and registered in the Netherlands.
From the early days, the Foundation was an industrially based co-operative research organisation between the British Iron and Steel Research Association (BISRA), the Iron and Steel Research Association of France (IRSID) and, the Royal Dutch Iron and Steel Company (KNHS). This International Consortium provided the basis for the design handbooks for the steam atomised, heavy fuel oil lances used in the open hearth furnaces of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom during the fifties and sixties, until the Siemens-Martin process was superseded by LD-steelmaking. It has also provided a fundamental basis, initially in terms of heat transfer by radiation, but subsequently in the field of flame aerodynamics and chemistry, to expand the original consortium objectives to encompass flames from other fuels to be applied in combustion chambers of other industries.
Over time, the Foundation has grown into a network which has members established in some twenty countries world-wide including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico, Peoples Republic of China, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and, the United States of America.
The work of the IFRF can be seen in terms of phases. The first decade from 1950-1960 (the sixties) was the decade of combustion aerodynamics; the seventies was the decade of NOx, mathematical modelling and the introduction of contract research; the eighties - decade of coal combustion research and near field aerodynamics; and the nineties, the decade of combustion system scaling, development of specialised research facilities, and numerical simulations. All these phases are described in the book Spirit of IJmuiden, Fifty years of the IFRF, 1948-1998 published by Roman Weber and available from IFRF upon request.
Products and services
IFRF has secured a key role in the new European Commission co-funded RELCOM oxy-coal R&D project which kicked off on 1 December 2011. IFRF is amongst 13 partners (including 7 IFRF Member Organisations) in the project. The project coordinator is UK’s University of Glamorgan who have made available the following summary:
RELCOM—Reliable and Efficient Combustion of Oxygen/Coal/Recycled Flue Gas Mixtures FP7-ENERGY-2010-2 Collaborative project number 268191
Coal will remain a major fuel for electricity generation worldwide for at least several decades. To reduce the impact of climate change, the power generation industry will be increasingly required to reduce its CO2 emissions. Improvement of cycle efficiency and increased use of biomass will help reduce CO2 emissions in the near term, but the longer term need to move to near-zero emission power generation will require the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
Oxyfuel combustion is a CCS technology where fuel is fired with oxygen instead of air, the flue gases then largely consist of CO2 and water vapour so that CO2 purification is readily achieved. Recycle of flue gas mitigates the flame temperature and helps to avoid unacceptable changes in the slagging and corrosion characteristics of the boiler making oxyfuel combustion suitable for retrofit or new-build coal power plant. Oxyfuel combustion has been demonstrated at 40MWt but commercial-scale demonstration is the next necessary step.
The RELCOM project is designed to undertake a systematic and focused series of applied research, development and demonstration activities involving both experimental studies and combustion modelling work to enable full-scale early demonstration oxyfuel plant to be designed and specified with greater confidence as well as providing improved assessment of the commercial risks and opportunities. The project will be undertaken by a consortium of higher education institutions, research centres and industrial partners bringing together the best in research facilities and technology development expertise.
The key tasks within the project are:
- Underpinning technology investigation including: fuel and combustion characterisation; flame radiation and explosion characteristics; high temperature gas-side corrosion; flue gas clean-up; and mercury emissions in oxy/coal/recycled flue gas.
- CFD simulation and validation to develop improved burner designs, flame stability assessment and scaling rules.
- Pilot-scale burner trials for assessment of novel burner designs and development of combustion monitoring and control systems.
- Medium-scale burner testing using pilot scale results and scaling criteria developed within the project.
- Detailed engineering analysis of retrofit and new-build case studies utilising the fundamental data and modelling tools developed within the project.
- Dissemination and technology transfer of findings to project stakeholders.
The project has a total project value (including the industrial contribution) of €9,736,057 with the EU contributing €6,468,900 over a project duration of 4 years.
The partners in the project are:
- University of Glamorgan – Coordinator (UK)
- Abo Akademi (Finland)
- E.On New Build & Technology Ltd. (UK)
- Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Germany)
- Electricite de France S.A. (France)
- University of Leeds (UK)
- Instytut Energetyki (Poland)
- Universitaet Stuttgart (Germany)
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
- Doosan Power Systems Ltd. (UK)
- Enel Ingegneria e Innovazione SpA (Italy)
- Fundación Ciudad de la Energía (Spain)
- International Flame Research Foundation (Italy)
BRISK’s main activity is to fund researchers from any EU and qualifying country to carry out research at any of the 26 partners’ facilities.
Thermal biomass conversion enables wood, energy crops, agricultural wastes and other biogenic materials to be processed into liquids, gases and solids for production of electricity, heat, transport fuels and a wide variety of chemicals.
Enhancing biomass utilization without compromising its sustainability is a European energy priority, and is linked to targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, and 50% by 2050. Energy security and integration with other industrial sectors such as agriculture, also play an important role. Development of advanced biomass conversion processes and biorefineries are key elements in achieving greenhouse gas emissions and security of supply goals.
There has been considerable growth in researching and developing advanced biofuels. However, there is still extensive fragmentation in terms of access to high-level experimental facilities needed for achieving significant advances in this field.
The BRISK project aims to improve the rate of development and success of biofuels implementation by integrating research facilities in the European scientific community. This will foster a culture of cooperation and lead to new activities across the whole of the European region.
Infrastructure available to all in Europe and qualifying countries
The BRISK network will encourage and facilitate cooperative research in the project partners’ laboratories as follows:
- Researchers can apply to go to any of the project partners located outside of their home country to utilize the thermal biomass conversion facilities
- The project will pay for facility access costs along with a grant for travel and subsistence for those researchers based in an eligible country.
Applications for access
If you are interested in applying for access, or require further information please visit the BRISK website.
The partners in the project are:
- Åbo Akademi University (Finland)
- Aston University Bioenergy Research Group (UK)
- BIOENERGY 2020+ and Graz University of Technology (Austria)
- Cardiff University (UK)
- Centre for Research and Technology –CERTH (Greece)
- CIUDEN and INERCO (Spain)
- Delft University of Technology and PALL Filter Systems (Netherlands)
- ECN (Netherlands)
- ENEA (Italy)
- Energy Technology Centre, Piteå (Sweden)
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
- Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland)
- Royal Institute of Technology – KTH (Sweden)
- SINTEF (Norway)
- Technical University of Denmark (Denmark)
- Technical University of Munich (Germany)
- TUBITAK, Marmara Research Centre (Turkey)
- University of Naples Federico II (Italy)
- University of Zaragoza (Spain)
- Vienna University of Technology (Austria)
- Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland)
DEBCO (DEmonstration of large scale Biomass Co-firing and supply chain integration) project under the FP7 is concerned with the development and demonstration of innovative approaches to the co-utilisation of biomass with coal for large-scale electricity production and/or CHP, at more competitive costs and/or increased energy efficiency.
The aim is the development, demonstration, and evaluation of innovative and advanced co-firing technologies.
The implications of the findings from the work for future biomass co-firing projects involving both the retrofit of existing coal-fired power plants and the provision of advanced co-firing capabilities in new-build projects will be assessed. Under the DEBCO project, it is proposed to perform a number of demonstrations of relevant biomass co-firing technologies with long-term monitoring and assessment of the key technical aspects, such as:
- Fuel supply chains
- Biofuel qualities (agriculture residues, energy crops, woodpellets, etc.)
- Application of advanced co-firing techniques to a number of power and CHP-plants fuelled by both lignite and bituminous coals
- Detailed evaluation of the role of co-firing in a sustainable energy market, including both the technical and social-economic impacts
The main results of DEBCO project will be:
- The long-term demonstration of the key advanced co-firing technologies which represent the means to providing cost-effective approaches to the reduction of the overall CO2 emissions from the electricity supply industry;
- The increase of the share of biomass co-fired in large-scale pulverised coal fired power plants from the 3 to 10 % currently achieved, to 50% and even more, depending on fuel type and plant related limitations;
- Long-term monitoring and assessment of the advanced co-firing techniques with particular attention being paid to the critical plant areas, i.e. fuel handling and injection, combustion and boiler performance, boiler integrity, the performance of flue gas cleaning devices, and the utilisation of the solid residues;
- To support and initiate the deployment of advanced co-firing activities in Eastern European countries, which have a high dependence on coal-fired generation and high biomass production potential.
The partners in the project are:
- ENEL (Italy)
- Electrable (Belgium)
- PPC (Greece)
- Tractebel (Belgium)
- Matuz (Hungary)
- IFK - University Stuttgart (Germany)
- Laborelec (Belgium)
- RSE, previously CESI Ricerca (Italy)
- ECN (The Netherlands)
- ISFTA - CERTH (Greece)
- Agriconsulting (Italy)
- VGB (Germany)
- Doosan Babcock (UK)
- Alstom Power (Germany)
- Techhical University of Wroclaw (Poland)
- PCC Rokita SA (Poland)
- Weber, R., (1998) "The Spirit of IJMuiden" ISBN 90-801495-2-7, [describes the first 50 years of the IFRF]
- Daimon, J. (1997) "Status and prospects of research in the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF)" Kgyo Kanersa 34 (3) 25-32 (in Japanese)
- Morfan, M.E., & Roberts, P.A., (1987) "Coal combustion characterisation studies at the International Flame Research Foundation" Fuel Processing Technology 15 173-187
- "International Flame Research Foundation members' conference" (1969) Combustion and Flame 13 (4) 446
- IFRF Official Website
- IFRF Journal Website
- Online Combustion Handbook
- The Monday Night Mail
- Solid Fuel Database
- American Flame Research Committee website
- British Flame website
- German Flame website
- Finnish Flame Research Committee website
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