Next Generation Combustion Systems

The second major research field is the development of next generation combustion systems with the central aim to further increase efficiencies and decrease emissions, moving towards near zero emission operation. The R&D strategy focuses on the development of modular concepts of biomass furnaces and boilers.

This work is strongly related to the work done in the field of advanced fuel characterisation since most of the development work in the field of medium and large-scale combustion systems aims at the sustainable utilisation of new biomass fuels. The main emission related problems to be expected from these new biomass fuels are NOx emissions (due to their typically elevated N-contents) as well as SOx and HCl emissions. Varying densities of the bulk materials and rapid changes in the fuel moisture content can also lead to problems regarding the burnout quality (increased CO and TOC emissions).

Moreover, most of these new biomass fuels contain high amounts of K and P, which usually imply increased slagging and fouling tendencies; the combination with Cl also implies the potential of corrosion risks. The next generation of biomass combustion plants must be able to handle all these potential problems. In addition to high efficiencies and low emissions, future plants must also feature increased fuel flexibility. Therefore, intelligent fuel blending strategies as well as the utilisation of additives will need to be implemented into future plant concepts. Consequently, our R&D strategy focuses on the development of modular concepts, allowing for the adaptation of the utilisation of a biomass fuels with certain properties, as this approach is thought to provide the high level of flexibility that will be demanded in future.