The research and technological development activities that ISFTA undertakes are focusing mainly on the improvement of solid fuels utilisation methods and techniques, which are used for power production purposes. As a consequence, ISFTA activities aim at the modernisation and reconstruction of the solid fuel sectors of Greece and other Balkan countries. In this framework, two priorities have been set:

In order to achieve the aforementioned targets, several actions, related to the technological enhancement of both the coal mining and power production sectors, are being carried out.



Adopting the EC guidelines for the co-utilisation of coal with biomass and/or solid waste, ISFTA is particularly interested in activities that investigate the development of financially feasible practices for the co-combustion of lignite and various biomass types in industrial scale power plants. A relevant demonstrative Thermie Type A project that investigated the possibilities of lignite and waste wood co-combustion in a moving stoker boiler was completed successfully.


Fuel quality control

In order to overcome problems related to the intensive quality variations of the Greek lignite deposits, ISFTA and PPC work on the evaluation of:


Land Reclamation

The Institute works also in the field of the reduction of the environmental impacts resulting from the extensive open-cast mining and power production activities that take place in the Energy Centre of Ptolemais. Within the scope of this concept, ISFTA participates in the development of an automated system which will monitor quantitative and qualitative parameters of the ground water in the vicinity of open-cast mines in order to protect water supply and irrigation works. The system will take also into account possible artificial recharge of aquifers using water that is pumped from the mine pits.


By-products utilisation

ISFTA performs various activities for the promotion of the fly ash use in cement industry and in other construction works. The Institute co-ordinated a group of experts, which was organised by the General Secretariat of Industry (Ministry of Development) and had as main objective the development of a draft regulation for the use of fly ash with high CaO content in concrete. In addition, ISFTA is involved in a project relevant to the pilot construction of a road using fly ash in various concentrations within the road base and sub-base. The Institute will carry out all the monitoring, sampling and in-field and laboratory testing required for the evaluation of the road performance under various loading conditions.


Solid Fuel Industry

ISFTA intends to develop new markets for the lignite-derived products, through the investigation of:

Additionally, ISFTA is occupied with the in-depth analysis of the market and role of solid fuels in the European power sector. Among others, a study about the current situation of lignite industry in the enlarged European Community and the Associated countries has been carried out.

Further to the analysis of the lignite role in the global energy objectives, a framework for a Community strategy concerning the development of the lignite sector under economic and ecological constraints was elaborated. Also two other studies about the current situation of solid fuels-fired power plants in the enlarged European Union and possible cost-effective measures for their refurbishment have been recently completed. The scope of these studies was to appraise the European market for renovating existing conventional plants and to encourage the development of Cleaner and Efficient Solid Fuels Technologies (CCT) in the coal-fired power sector.



Using a Geographic Information System, ISFTA developed an application for improved programming of the maintenance and repair works required in the district-heating network of the town of Ptolemais.


New Objectives

ISFTA participates in Integrated Projects (IPs) and Research Projects concerning CO2 capture, sequestration and storage and H2 production. (6th Framework Programme, Research Fund for Coal and Steel).

Construction and operation of a Pilot Pyrolysis Unit, with a capacity of 26 kW, in AEVAL complex area, yielded by Ptolemais’ municipality.