Åbo Akademi University recently hosted the 2019 Nordic Flame Days in Turku, Finland. Combustion research at Åbo Akademi University has a long tradition and is focused on biomass combustion. The conference was co-organised by the Finnish Flame Research Committee, the Swedish Flame Research Committee and the Scandinavian-Nordic Section of the Combustion Institute. This was the third conference co-organised by these organisations, building on earlier experience of Finnish-Swedish Flame Days. The number of attendees was in excess of 100. Of the participants, the largest nationality was Finland, followed by Sweden, Norway, Denmark and France. In addition, a few long distance visitors joined the meeting, including combustion engineers all the way from Canada. During the conference, 55 parallel presentations were given. The topics included fuel characterisation, diagnostics, modelling and optimisation, ash management and corrosion. The Nordic Flame Days are characterised by a strong engagement from industrial participants. Several R&D managers from leading suppliers acted as session chairs, supporting the local organisation committee led by Professor Anders Brink.
Professor Mikko Hupa, the outgoing rector for Åbo Akademi University, and a former president of the IFRF, opened the conference. The conference included three keynotes: Professor Anders Lyngfelt from Chalmers University in Sweden lectured on negative CO2 emissions in the Nordic countries, Tomi Lindroos from VTT research centre in Finland on the profitability of biomass plants in district heating grids. On the second day, Professor Franz Winter from TU Wien talked about the challenges and opportunities of waste combustion.
A number of conference attendees also used the opportunity to attend the public defence of Ms Hanna Kinnunen’s doctoral thesis (link) the day after the conference. The thesis included five peer- reviewed journal papers co-authored by researchers by Åbo Akademi University and engineers at Valmet, another good example of the close collaboration between industry and academia in Finland.