Researchers from Trinity and NUI Galway are currently hosting this year’s largest and most important scientific gathering on alternative fuels and fuel efficiency, as the 37th International Symposium on Combustion comes to Dublin from July 30th to August 3rd. This is the first time the biennial Symposium has been held in Ireland and over 1,800 delegates from across the globe will attend the week’s presentations in the Convention Centre.

Over 90% of the energy used in Ireland is delivered by burning fuels, the vast majority of which are imported. This energy is needed for everything from lighting and heating our homes and preparing our meals, to powering our industries and fuelling our planes, trains and automobiles. The immediate challenges posed by climate change, declining air quality, increasing energy bills, and energy supply security – especially with Brexit around the corner – means that cleaner, cheaper, more reliable forms of energy are urgently needed.

Among the recent advances and major topics set for discussion at the International Symposium on Combustion are the:

  • Development and testing of renewable fuels including solid biomass, biomethane, liquid biofuels and hydrogen
  • Use of waste products like agri-forestry wastes, sludges and municipal wastes as fuels
  • Efforts to reduce harmful emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter
  • Increases in engine efficiency through a better understanding of how existing and new fuels burn and how engines can be redesigned around this new knowledge
  • Study of how fires spread, what can be done to better predict them, and how emergency planning and evacuations can be improved (this need was thrown into tragic light last year following the Grenfell Tower disaster, and last week during the tragic fires in Greece)

The importance of combustion research was recently highlighted by the launch of the €4.4 million Sustainable Energy and Fuel Efficiency (SEFE) spoke at the Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy. With financial backing from Science Foundation Ireland and national and international industry, SEFE researchers at Trinity, NUI Galway, UCC, UL and Teagasc will develop the next generation of renewable fuels and cleaner engines.

The hosting of the Symposium in Ireland is particularly timely given the recent announcement from the Climate Change Advisory Council that the country is “completely off course” to achieve its 2020 and 2030 climate targets. This event will serve as a rallying call to the energy research and policymaking communities that unless Ireland takes immediate action on the development of alternative fuels, the country is in line for hundreds of millions of euros worth of annual fines from the EU.

Head of Strategy at Science Foundation Ireland, Dr Peter Clifford, highlighted the scientific excellence of the event. He said: “The International Symposium on Combustion is the premier gathering of the fuels and combustion research community. Its presence here underscores the efforts and growing reputation of the combustion research community in Ireland.”

The Symposium is supported financially by Science Foundation Ireland through the Exceptional Conference Award, Fáilte Ireland, and a wide array of Irish and international industry sponsors. The local host team includes Assistant Professor in Physics at Trinity, Dr Stephen Dooley, and Emeritus Professor John Simmie and Dr Rory Monaghan from the College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway.

More information is available at:

Source: Trinity College Dublin