• Energy & Fuels to publish Special Issue on ‘Fundamentals of biomass & biofuel combustion’ – an invitation to contribute

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Philip Sharman

      IFRF Director

Energy & Fuels (ISSN: 0887-0624) is planning a Special Issue on the topic of ‘Fundamentals of biomass & biofuel combustion’ (of which Frédérique Battin-Leclerc of CNRS – LRGP and Dr Ewa Marek of the University of Cambridge are serving as Guest Editors).

There is an opportunity for IFRF members to submit original papers, a review paper or mini-reviews for consideration.

The submission time window is 1 April – 20 June 2021, with an ongoing online publication.  The manuscript will be peer-reviewed.  The Special Issue will be completed by 30 September 2021 publishing only invited papers.

Any IFRF members wishing to contribute to this Special Issue will need to inform the Guest Editors of the title, article type and the planned submission date by before 30 November 2020 (or sooner if you are interested by writing a review paper).

Background and Motives

Due to the concerns about the increase of atmospheric CO2, energy and transportation sectors shift away from burning coal and oil, instead, transitioning towards cleaner fuels.  As a result, utilisation of biomass and biofuels is growing significantly as both present an attractive alternative to fossil fuels.  Nowadays, biomass and biofuels are used industrially, and the modern bioenergy sector is steadily growing, particularly the electricity generation, which has doubled in seven years from 2008.  Indeed, solid biomass presents a considerable potential for heat and power generation, and still for domestic usage in developing countries.  Similarly, bio-derived liquid fuels have a huge potential for enabling sustainable transportation, while biogas may be used for heat and energy production.  Yet, with the increased awareness and knowledge on biomass combustion, the research community also starts to notice the problematic side of its use, including emissions of fine particles and other potentially toxic pollutants. 

Combustion of solid biomass concerns a diverse family of fuels, including wood logs and chips, biomass char, torrefied pellets, wastes and processes sewage sludge.  For biofuels, the range of possible substances depends on the processing of the original biomass and includes alcohols, esters, ethers, bio-oils, and many more.  Concerning the technology, burning of biomass and biofuels can be carried out at a small scale in stoves or boilers, or at a larger scale in furnaces, encompassing stokers, pulverised fuel combustors, or fluidised beds; for liquid and gas biofuels, this concerns combustion in engines and gas turbines.  While combustion of these CO2-neutral fuels is surely attractive, we still lack a detailed understanding of their oxidation mechanisms, the formation of pollutants (soot particles, NOx, SOx, CO, aromatics, aldehydes), tar and char oxidation, ash formation and deposition, flames structure/stability, ignition, structural changes, hetero-atom influence. 

Energy & Fuels publishes research reports in the area defined by the intersection of the disciplines of chemistry and chemical engineering, and the application domain of non-nuclear energy and fuels.  This Special Issue invites high-quality papers presenting cutting-edge original research related to fundamentals of biomass & biofuels combustion.  In addition, review (mini-review) papers that summarise research advances in a specialised topic or present clear perspectives for biofuels combustion are also welcome


By invitations ONLY.  The invited author(s) should email any of the guest editors about their acceptance to submit along with a tentative title of the article, article type, and estimated submission date.  Once receiving your information, Energy & Fuels editorial office will follow up on the submission protocol with you so that your submission will be marked as an “invited” paper, which the editorial office will handle with priority.

Topics Covered 

This Special Issue calls for original papers and reviews (mini-reviews) describing the latest advances in fundamental understanding, reactor design and modelling of biofuels combustion.  All manuscripts must be within the scope of Energy & Fuels, with a focus on biomass & biofuel combustion.  Neither the entire nor any part of contents in the submitted manuscript should have been previously submitted, published, or accepted elsewhere.  

Covered topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Gas-phase chemistry of the oxidation of biomass-derived gas and liquids (biogas, biofuels, tars); 
  • Heterogeneous combustion of biomass char; 
  • Heat/mass transfers and hydrodynamics in biomass combustion reactors or biogas/biofuel fed turbines/engines (including multi-scale approaches, CFD, etc.); 
  • Improving design of engines, gas turbines and combustion reactors based on deep fundamental understanding of combustion mechanisms. 

Out of the scope: direct gasification and pyrolysis of biomass unless presenting a clear interplay between pyrolysis and oxidation of pyrolysis products with the main focus on oxidation of pyrolytic products; only technological development of combustion processes without fundamentals on chemical & physical mechanisms, forest fires (no application in energy), work only on coal or oil derived fuels. 

Instructions for Manuscript Submission 

Manuscripts should be submitted via the Energy & Fuels online submission system by selecting this Special Issue (https://pubs.acs.org/journal/enfuem/).  All submitted manuscripts will be peer reviewed according to the standards of Energy & Fuels, and will be evaluated on the basis of originality, quality, and relevance to this Special Issue. 

Manuscripts must be formatted according to the journal style, according to the journal’s guidelines to authors (see https://pubs.acs.org/journal/enfuem/authors.html).  

In the cover letter, please clearly state that the submission is for the special issue of Fundamentals of biomass & biofuels combustion

In ACS online submission website, on the tab “Step 1: Type, Title, & Abstract”, please locate the subsection “Special Issue Selection (By Invitation Only)” and then select “Fundamentals of biomass & biofuels combustion”. 

Authors are required to provide the details (first and last name, institution, and email address) of at least six potential reviewers, adhering to the guidelines below for avoiding unnecessary delays: 

  • Potential reviewers should be experts in the topic area 
  • Potential reviewers should not be from any of the authors’ institutions 
  • Suggested reviewers should be diverse and only one reviewer should be from a single institution 
  • Potential reviewers should not be editors of Energy & Fuels 
  • Authors should take care not to recommend reviewers that have a real or perceived conflict of interests (e.g., a collaborator or someone who has recently published with one of the co-authors)

Important Dates

Paper submission time window:  1 April 2021 – 20 June 2021

Time for the editorial process:  10 weeks or less

Completion of the Special Issue:  30 September 2021

Note:  When a manuscript is returned to the authors for revision, the authors should address all comments of all reviewers and rebut any requests and comments that have been disregarded. The revised manuscript should be promptly returned to the assigned Editorial Office. 

Guest Editors 

Dr Ewa Marek 

University of Cambridge, Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, Philippa Fawcett Drive, CB3 0AS, Cambridge UK E-mail address: ejm94@cam.ac.uk  

Dr. Frédérique Battin-Leclerc 

CNRS, ENSIC, 1 rue Grandville 54000 Nancy, France 

E-mail address: frederique.battin-leclerc@univ-lorraine.fr  

Expectations for review papers 

A review article aims at achieving THREE essential objectives: 

  1. providing a complete, structured and systematic summarisation on the related key aspects.  This means that the authors will summarise those in many figures and tables; 
  2. presenting new discoveries from the authors’ own knowledge synthesis based on existing literature results.  This means that the authors will provide important and synthesised new knowledge that are not included in those articles in the literature; and 
  3. outlining detailed views on future research directions and perspectives.  This usually is written a standalone section (before the “Conclusions” section), with a minimal length of 1 full page in printing form. 

Additional important considerations are: 

  1. In the “Introduction” section, the authors need to justify why the review article fills a critical gap in the field.  This requires the authors to list the existing key review articles in a table that would have columns such as the year up to which literature was covered, topic reviewed and refs, to justify the authors’ review article is indeed in need and timely. 
  2. The review paper should cover sufficient number of articles in the literature.  A too small total number of references usually indicates that there are insufficient contents for the authors to write a review article.  In addition, the most recent articles (e.g. those published in the past five years) should be exhaustively surveyed. 
  3. For all figures and tables obtained from previous articles, please ensure that you have obtained the rights for publication in your review article from the respective publishers.  Please provide permissions and credit lines for any images that have been reused from non-ACS publications in the figures or tables. 

More information can be found here: https://pubs.acs.org/page/copyright/permissions_otherpub.html. Please note that the paper cannot proceed for acceptance until the authors have provided the appropriate permissions. 

4) The Energy & Fuels editorial policy requires a graphical abstract, or a Table of Contents (TOC) graphic, for all manuscripts. Please review the guidelines for the TOC graphic at the following link: http://pubsapp.acs.org/paragonplus/submission/toc_abstract_graphics_guidelines.pdf. 

5) Before submission, the authors are strongly suggested to do a TurnitIn or iThenticate scanning. This will help eliminate any potential ethical pitfalls. 

6) Before submission, the authors may also consider polishing the manuscript by a professional English service, if needed.