IFK - Institute of Combustion and Power Plant Technology, Stuttgart, Germany

Institute für Verfahrenstechnik und Dampfkesselwesen - Institute of Process Engineering and Power Plant Technology


IFK is part of the University Stuttgart and therefore a non-profit educational and research organisation. IFK is active in the field of combustion systems in different scales. Large scale pulverised coal combustion units in a scale of 700 MW are also under investigation of the IFK as well as technical scale combustion facilities (500 kW) and small scale wood heating stoves in a range of 15 kW. The research is focused on:

  • the development of environmentally compatible firing and power station systems for different fuels as there are bituminous coal, lignite, biomass, solid recovered fuels (SRF), oil and gas;
  • development and use of intrusive and non-intrusive measuring techniques to characterise the combustion process of different fuels;
  • the analysis of fuels to predict and characterise the combustion and emission behaviour;
  • the development of low or zero CO2 coal power conversion processes
  •  the development of mathematical models for industrial combustion systems;

For several years the IFK has gained considerable experience concerning the thermal utilisation of solid fuels such as coal, biomass and residues. IFK co-ordinates and participates in several demonstration and research projects, concerning biomass combustion and gasification, biomass, SRF/coal co-combustion and zero-emission coal processes such as Oxyfuel, CO2-capture.

The main focuses of the Department's research are theoretical and experimental combustion, firing systems, boiler and super-heater technologies applied in power plants and industrial facilities. For these purposes several semi-technical and lab-scale combustion and gasification facilities operating at wide pressure ranges are used. Significant reconfigurations of the different furnaces due to the requirements of conditions are provided by the institute's own workshop. Furthermore, cooperation with a well-equipped laboratory provides the quick and reliable acquisition of chemical and physical analysis of different streams distinguished in the combustion and gasification processes. Support in measuring and control techniques allows for more adequate and detailed data acquisition. Simultaneously theoretical models are handled and revised based on the data achieved from practical experiments that guarantees further improvements of the projects. The simultaneous work of all the mentioned units allows for the conduction of multiplex and problem specific measurements in the large-scale facilities.


Key person:

Dipl.-Ing. Jörg Maier graduated in 1994 from Technical University of Stuttgart and joined the Institute as a scientific assistant. Since 1999 he has been appointed Head of the Department of Power Plant Technology at IFK. His main activity and expertise is in the areas covered by combustion characteristics of solid fossil and solid recovered fuels, development and testing of primary measures and advanced conversion technologies (pressurised conversion), reduction and prediction of operational problems such as slagging, fouling and corrosion and the co-combustion and incineration of solid recovered fuels and wastes. Apart from his work in different multi-partner projects, his participation as convener in standardisation bodies such as CEN 343 and in other working groups, seminars and the dissemination of R&D is another important aspect of his activities.

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