NUI Galway burns the midnight oil at alternative fuel symposium

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NUI Galway are co-hosting this year’s Symposium on Combustion highlighting advancements in alternative fuel sources and fuel efficiency.

The 37th International Symposium on Combustion is being held by researchers from NUIG and Trinity College Dublin this week from July 30 to August 3.

Presentations at the symposium will showcase recent advancements in the development of alternative fuel sources like hydrogen and biofuels, as well as the how industrial waste from forestry can be recycled as fuel.

As well as alternative fuel, other topics of research that will be seen there include efforts to reduce harmful emissions from burning fuels and improving fuel efficiency in engines.

Chairperson of the Galway host team, Professor John Simmie, said: “Given society’s heavy reliance on fuels, combustion is more relevant now than ever,”

“While the recent popularity of electric vehicles is to be welcomed, technological limitations and high costs mean that all energy forecasts show significant combustible fuel use until well into the second half of the 21st century, especially for heavy, long-distance transportation.”

Over 90% of the energy used in Ireland is created by burning fuels, the majority of which are imported, for everything from out cars, to lighting and heating homes, to charging your phone.

With challenges like the growing effects of climate change, seen in the recent heatwave that has caused water shortages around the country, declining air quality in cities, and the economic impact of Brexit, cleaner, cheaper fuels are needed.

The necessity of changing how we use fuel has been clearly seen by the Climate Change Advisory Council’s recent statement that Ireland is “completely off course” to achieving our 2020 and 2030 climate targets.

This is the first time that Ireland has hosted the Symposium, where 1,800 delegates are expected to attend the four days of technical presentations at the Convention Centre in Dublin.

Head of Strategy at Science Foundation Ireland, Dr. Peter Clifford, says the conference shows Ireland’s scientific clout, “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.”

Science Foundation Ireland provides financial support for the symposium through the Exceptional Conference Award, along with Fáilte Ireland and a wide array of industry sponsors.