Oxyflame to Receive Follow-Up Funding From DFG




Reinhold Kneer

Vice-Dean for Teaching


+49 241 80 95400



In the DFG-funded Transregional Collaborative Research Center, RWTH, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and TU Darmstadt seek to provide the basis for achieving negative CO2 emissions.


The German Research Foundation DFG has decided to extend the funding period of the Oxyflame Collaborative Research Center (CRC/TRR 129) by another four years. At the Center, internationally recognized researchers from RWTH, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and TU Darmstadt are pooling their expertise in the fields of homogenous gas combustion and heterogeneous particle combustion. In particular, Oxyflame is developing methods and models to describe the reaction of solid fuels in an oxy-fuel atmosphere. Spokesperson for the center is Professor Reinhold Kneer from the RWTH Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer.

Reactive conversion in oxyfuel atmospheres is a method to prepare the carbon dioxide produced in energy generation processes using carbonaceous solid fuels for capture as efficiently and completely as possible. To this end, the researchers are developing validated and generalized models for oxy-fuel combustion of solid biomass in an atmosphere consisting essentially of carbon dioxide (CO2), water, and oxyen. Oxyfuel combustion is one of the most promising carbon capture and storage (CSS) technologies to separate carbon dioxide.

To develop methods and models, the first two funding periods focused on fossil fuels; the third funding period will have a focus on biomass. Fuels made from biomass are CO2-neutral and, in combination with CO2 capture and storage – or utilization –, allows “negative” carbon dioxide emissions. This is an absolute priority in order to achieve the climate targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

New Systems Behavior

Replacing nitrogen by CO2 and H2O, which at high temperatures are chemically active and strongly radiating components, results in an entirely different combustion behavior that may lead to modified chemical conversion rates, flame instabilities, or even local ignition or flame extinction phenomena. This also influences all relevant transport processes occurring on length scales ranging from the atomic scale to typical furnace dimensions.

To identify the dominating underlying mechanisms of the transport processes, this range of scales is addressed within the SFB/Transregio both by laboratory-scale fundamental generic experiments and larger-scale validation experiments of solid pulverized fuel combustion. Modeling approaches of different fidelity are considered, ranging from molecular dynamics simulations and approaches that partially – or even fully – resolve the turbulence to a multi-physics and multi-scale description of the system-scale using Large-Eddy Simulation (LES).

In the third phase of the project, the simulation models and methods developed will be translated into an openly available overall model, called OxySim-129. The model is intended to enable plant engineers and power plant operators to plan and design burners and power plant boilers faster and more economically. In line with this objective, the researchers joined forces with a partner from the cement industry to submit a proposal to the DFG for a transfer project based on findings from Oxyflame. The goal is to translate the results and findings of the Transregional Research Center into industrial practice.

DFG Collaborative Research Centers

In Collaborative Research Centers (CRC), researchers from a broad range of disciplines work together on complex topics in fundamental research from an integrative, interdisciplinary perspective. The DFG-funded centers are established for a period of up to 12 years. Transregional CRCs are jointly operated by several universities.