A ‘Topic-Orientated Technical Meeting’ (TOTeM) on the subject of ‘Gaseous fuels for industry and power generation: challenges and opportunities’, organised jointly by the Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen e. V. (GWI) and the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF), was held on 14-15 March 2017 at GWI in Essen, Germany.  The meeting covered the future of a broad range of gaseous fuels in three sessions addressing:  natural gas quality and its impact on large-scale gas-fired equipment; the use of hydrogen or hydrogen/natural gas mixtures (e.g. in ‘power-to-gas’ applications); and the utilisation of biogas or syngas in industrial furnaces or for power generation.

The topics proved to be very interesting to the participants and highly relevant to industrial and power generation combustion processes in the future.  The 12 presentations stimulated a very high degree of discussion, and a great deal of networking took place.

A tour of GWI’s semi-industrial scale gaseous fuel fired facilities took place, including the 80kWth ‘Flame Tube’ (water-cooled boiler), a 300kWth direct/indirect fired furnace, the modular test rig (up to 1.2MWth on natural gas, up to 5m long, up to 1600°C wall temperature), a rotating bed regenerator (up to 1250° air preheat temperature) and a mobile test laboratory. The tour also included a visit to GWI’s ‘demonstration house’, fitted with a wide range of residential heating appliances,  micro-combined heat and power units, solar thermal heating and other energy efficient features. Finally, the participants were also given a dramatic demonstration of a ruptured gas pipeline fire (3.5bar natural gas) and a fire of accumulated gas in a confined space.

IFRF would like to thank all the presenters at TOTeM 44 for the excellent quality of their presentations and which led to such in-depth discussions. Sincere thanks go to Jörg Leicher, Anne Giese and Stefanie Adler of GWI for organising and hosting such an interesting TOTeM.

IFRF are indebted to Orbital Gas Systems for their generous sponsorship of TOTeM 44.