Last week’s COMBURA Symposium 2018 at Soesterberg in the Netherlands – organised by the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlamonderzoek (NVV, Netherlands Association for Flame Research and IFRF’s Dutch ‘National Committee’) and sponsored by the Dutch Section of the Combustion Institute and KIVI NIRIA’s Energy and Heat Technology section – was a big success, with around 78 participants mainly from the Netherlands but also Germany, Belgium and the UK.
The theme for the morning was ‘Hydrogen: the fuel for energy transition?’, a highly topical subject that the three keynote speakers (Dr Ir Jan-jaap Aué of Hanze University of Applied Sciences’ Centre of Expertise Energy, Groningen; Ir Geert Laagland of Vattenfall; and Prof Henry Curran of the National University of Ireland – Galway) ably introduced in terms of ‘hope or hype?’, ‘electricity production and hydrogen’ and ‘on the kinetics of hydrogen’ respectively. These three stimulating lectures led on to a lively discussion on the prospective role(s) of hydrogen in transitioning energy to a sustainable future, the challenges, ongoing initiatives, priority R&D topics, and the key responsibility of all of us in addressing public perceptions, wisely moderated by Prof Howard Levinsky of DNV GL Oil and Gas.
After a networking lunch – which also allowed time to see and interact with the various poster presenters – the COMBURA participants enjoyed three parallel sessions on alternative fuels, industrial combustion systems, and measurements and modelling.
Later in the afternoon, all the participants reassembled in the atmospheric old chapel in the former nunnery to hear who was to be presented with the 2018 NVV Combustion Award – an annual prize presented to the best Masters thesis. The award (the privilege of delivering a lecture to us, and a cash prize of €1000 by way of compensation!) went to Balaji Sridharan, who studied for his Masters Degree at TU Delft and is now studying for his PhD at the University of Groningen for his thesis on ‘System study towards the integration of indirect biomass gasification, methanol and power production using novel gas turbine technology’. Congratulations Balaji and best wishes for your PhD study. Prizes were also awarded for the best poster presentations, with Alireza Ghasemi (Twente Uni), Nourani Najafi (Groningen Uni) and Sara Navarro Arredondo (Twente Uni) being awarded €150, 100 and 75 respectively by the Dutch Section of the Combustion Institute.
After a celebratory drink of wine and some excellent Dutch cheese and dips, the participants left COMBURA 2018 already looking forward to the next one.