!    !    !    !    !     Ten    years    CBOne     !    !    !    !    !

As Mr Shepard said: Light this candle! CBOne is 10 years old! 

Or nearly - 

It depends a bit on when you start counting. 

The project CBOne was selected by the Science Park Graz on the First of June 2011 as one of the promising business ideas of that year to be given the chance to grow in this incubator. On the 27th of March 2012, the company Combustion Bay One e.U. was ready to fly, and therefore officially released.

Our mission then and now: a better, cleaner, and safer combustion for energy and propulsion.

 

 

This article will be regularly updated with highlights and insights until April 2022. Find out how Austria's first engineering office for advanced combustion management has developed over the past decade! 

 

CBOne: a chronology
  • October 2004: Fabrice Giuliani is appointed Head of the Combustion Department, with the task of building, populating, and equipping this new entity created at the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz). This department is part of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and is located at the Institute for Thermal Turbomachinery. 

Under his leadership, the department benefits from third-party funding with two EU projects (Framework 6: the NEWAC project, Framework 7: the Alfa-Bird project, one EFRE infrastructure grant) financing 3 PhDs. Additionally, two academic research Austrian-funded projects (FWF) finance two PhDs. By 2010, the group has 10 people.

 

 

The department gathers experience in experimental combustion research. It designs its own equipment, follows up the manufacturing, performs testing and validation. Two examples are the pulsator called siren (design by Andreas Lang, Ph.D. 2011) or the burner with variable geometry (design by Thomas Leitgeb, Ph.D. 2013). Despite the group's recommendation to patent, the TU Graz did not take its option - and this was one of the reasons why F Giuliani did contact the Science Park: there was an opportunity to seize.   

This unique know-how and these technologies are key assets for Combustion Bay One who later brought these ideas to fruition by developing them further.

 

  • 1.12.2010: Fabrice Giuliani obtains his habilitation to direct research at the Graz University of Technology. 
    The last part of the written document (available here) is the statement and the work plan of Combustion Bay One.
    However, the debate concluding this examination turned into a fierce fight. Some members of the jury argued that "combustion" and "sustainability" do not belong together and that this academic research should be stopped in favour of renewable technologies.
    As unpleasant as the passionate opposition of the jury was, far more political than scientific, the day was also a seminal moment. The first lesson learned was that talking positively about combustion takes a lot of effort. The second was that Giuliani's plans for the development of combustion technology might be more successful outside academia.
    While a habilitation to direct research usually leads to an academic career, in that case it became a ramp to the free market! 

 

  • 5.5.2011: What do we call it? "Verbrennungstechnik Graz" or something a bit more punchy like "Baie de Combustion numéro 1"? Stéphanie chooses the latter, but in English please. The wine is good, the evening is fine. OK. Combustion Bay One it is.

 

  • 1.6.2011: Otmar says "Well done. Welcome to the Science Park!". The Science Park is the incubator for academics in Graz, run by TU Graz. The project was selected after a 3-month bidding process - which is great. There had been a dossier with a business plan. Then a defense of the project takes place, with complex technical discussions in front of a hesitant jury, which also wondered why combustion sciences are relevant in the 21rst century. The rhetoric had been fine-tuned based on the previous experience, and this time the proposal was found convincing. CBOne would benefit from an excellent development programme, in a pleasant and comfortable working environment. There would be a business coaching.
    That was the moment with a bit of drama.
    Leave the academic world behind and go to the free market.
    A little scary, a little exciting, and a lot of unknowns to sort out one by one in the coming months.

 

 

  • September 2011: Giuliani leaves his functions as Head of Department at the Combustion Department of the TU Graz. While old love never rusts, he will go on teaching on gas turbine combustion and keep an eye on "his" fellow PhDs.
    The bright future is called Combustion Bay One.
    By September it is all set. We have a working place, a homepage, and we have a logo! CBOne - in short - exists!

 

Combustion Bay One offers sustainable combustion technologies. First thoughts were made in direction of green patterns in the logo, to highlight the ecology. However, green flames are not recommended in terms of emission (e.g. well visible using propane near stoichiometry). What is recommended is a deep blue flame, a symbol for premixed lean combustion - which is good. Many flame pictures on this site reproduce this colour.  This is why the deep blue colour (R85 G142 B213 O255 @ 100%) is always present in our corporate identity. 

 

  • 27.3.2012: The company Combustion Bay One e.U. is registered as an engineering office specialised in advanced combustion management. This is the official start!  

 

 

  • June 2012: first-time participation of Combustion Bay One to the ASME Turbo Expo conference. From 2012 to 2021, ten articles will be published and presented at the same conference.

 

 

  • June 2013: CBOne's first stand-alone research project is greenlit. Financed by the AWS, a methodology will be developed to fully burn gases with low heat contents such as biogas. The outputs are CBOne's Siren-3G, numerous publications, one prize as well as our first patent.

 

The MethaNull technology: A pilot flame operated in the lean regime and pulsed allows the complete combustion of the main stage, operated even leaner or with low-heat value gases.

 

  • September 2013: CBOne moves in new grounds. The addresses Schuetzenhofgasse 22 (Executive grounds) and Ruckerlberggasse 13 (Operative grounds) are architectures of the late 19th century, with elements of Art Nouveau. The tranquility of the surroundings combined with the unique ambience of the interiors provides a creative, and inspiring atmosphere. 

 

 

  • October 2015: First stand-alone research project sponsored y the FFG about the precision injection of fuel in gas turbines. This is the rePorT project, that will open-up our first creations using 3D-print of metal powders, and also lead to a patent.

The activities on 3D printing at CBOne really start in 2017. This is really a revolution: a part can be fought as an organ, optimised in terms of shape and congestion to fulfill its role. Furthermore, secondary or combined features can be implemented, such as heat exchanging effect or instrumentation. "Mathematics to Shape" is a specialty we will quickly do ours! 

 

  • 2015-2019: In co-operation with FH Joanneum / Aviation, CBOne develops a combustion monitoring technique combining acoustic and optic signals for a better and faster interpretation of the combustion status in near real-time. These are the emo(o)tion projects, also supported by the FFG. The probe is actually realised in two sizes, including a heat-resistant model sensitive to selected bandwidths. One patent is filed.

 

  • 2017: CBOne is a Million-Dollar Baby. This mark is achieved by summing-up all turn-over and revenue promises over its 5 years of existence. It took these five years to come back to the acquisition performance of TUGraz' combustion department as of 2010, which is fine.
    2016 was the year of all dangers, where as it often happens for start-ups, a delay in an industrial project put the company at risk. Suddenly, the costs exceeded the revenues in a dramatic manner, and adjustments had to be made. CBOne stopped its growth, and went in protection mode for a short time.
    The good news are that the company passed the "third and fourth cursed years" (where the early investments and postponed taxation are being reimbursed) and that since the company is managed by a manager who behaves like a provincial notary, it is free of debts.  After the 2016 experience, the new strategy is to make the best use of the small team, invest in the industrial property, and let time do its job in establishing us as a serious and reliable partner. 

 

 

  • December 2020: The future is hydrogen combustion - but some work must be done. Hydrogen combustion is not trivial. We are about to validate our technologies within the Bluetifuel project, with the support of the KlimaFonds and of the FFG.

 

 

  • March 2021: CBOne reveals that it has been working for two years on groundbreaking combustion technology, its fourth patent. This is the recursive sequential combustion, a process that produces a lean and robust combustion with very low emission, and a promising candidate for safe hydrogen combustion. This is the MOeBIUS technology.

That's all Folks! ... for now!