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Welcome to the Combustion Institute internet pages!

The Combustion Institute is an international non-profit, scientific and educational organization, founded in 1954, which serves the purpose to promote and disseminate combustion research. Fundamental and applied scientific disciplines contribute to this research which has strong ties to technical and industrial processes.

In a world where the energy supply of the future is one of the great societal challenges, it is very timely to consider the role that combustion plays today. We may not realize it in everyday life – but just investigate it for yourself by monitoring your actions during a standard week. How many goods and products from how many different countries are you using, from food to clothes to sports activities and entertainment? How did they get to your household? How often are you using electrically powered appliances and devices, directly or indirectly? Almost any service provided has some power signature.  How often do you use computers and communication platforms, cell phones and other electronic devices, personally or through services that you rely on? And how do you get to your workplace, to meetings, vacations, distant friends and relations?

Transportation and power generation rely to a large extent on combustion of fossil and alternative fuels today, with more than two thirds of the energy supplied for these purposes world-wide. Also, important manufacturing processes like steel and glass making use combustion energy. The development of engines for cars, trucks, ships and aircrafts, the design of micro-combustors and large-scale electrical power plants has its roots in combustion science. It is thus not surprising that Symposia on Combustion started almost in synchronization with major advances in fuel and engine technologies in the late 1920s. As a regular biannual series, the International Symposium on Combustion is established since 1952. The 34th of these scientific conferences was held 2012 in Warsaw, Poland, with about 1200 participants from more than 30 countries, almost 500 of them students. While use of fossil energy resources opens many questions, combustion is not likely to be superseded soon in its leading energy role. Much of the scientific creativity in combustion today thus addresses renewable fuels and more efficient and cleaner combustion technologies.

Combustion is not only relevant with respect to energy, however, but it is also an important factor in fire safety. Again, fundamental considerations and scientific advances in experimental and computation sciences permit deeper understanding needed for safety rules and procedures, and planning and construction of buildings and cities.

We welcome your thoughts, contributions and questions.

Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus, President