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E&M Combustión, a Spanish engineering company dedicated to the development of new Combustion Technologies, develops the prototype of a specific Hydrogen Burner to operate with this fuel, which has been introduced to the industrial sector in the framework of the Expobiomasa 2021 fair, held from 21 to 23 of September. The project involves the development of more efficient and less polluting technologies than those currently operating in industry and in the field of power generation. The objective of this prototype hydrogen burner is aimed at making sustainable the thermal power installations and boiler rooms or buildings sustainable, allowing their decarbonization and the reduction of emissions.
As one of the main protagonists of the energy transition, burners that use hydrogen represent an evolution of traditional combustion systems and allow us to achieve superior energy efficiency with a combustion that eliminates all C02 emissions into the atmosphere. When used together with other fuels, such as natural gas (mixed or multi-fuel burners), it considerably reduces the emission of these greenhouse gases.
District heating and industry decarbonization
Thus, the recently presented prototype hydrogen burner is designed to work only with hydrogen or to operate with a mixture of hydrogen and natural gas for use in district heating installations, for heating buildings and large areas. This last alternative of a mixture of hydrogen and gas is tested by E&M Combustion and is very viable. It consists of a mixture of hydrogen, with 15% -20% natural gas, with which the enriched mixture increases the calorific value and achieves a more stable and efficient combustion. This mixture also makes it possible to improve flame detection, a great challenge with the exclusive use of hydrogen as fuel, due to its characteristics of invisibility to the human eye.
In the hydrogen sector, Spanish engineering company E&M Combustión contributes its technology and experience in the field of industrial combustion and in hydrogen combustion systems, specifically, to which it provides advice, design, manufacture and commissioning of Hydrogen Burners and Hydrogen Combustion Systems in power generation plants and industrial processes, especially in the chemical and petrochemical areas.
The use of hydrogen in industry provides new tools to eliminate CO2, which is largely responsible for climate change. For Iñigo Béjar, CEO of the company “this milestone is a great opportunity for the planet as a whole, and for the improvement of production processes, although it requires the accompaniment of a technological partner and specialized attention to combustion challenges that this new fuel brings with it “.
Challenges posed by the hydrogen combustion
In the short term, the main hydrogen combustion challenges occur in the conversion of existing plants that currently operate with natural gas, diesel, fuel oil or coal and are not designed for this new fuel. The challenge requires the development and application of reliable technology in combustion equipment and installations, such as the redesign and adaptation of feed pipes and the manufacture of hydrogen burners that prevent high gas velocities at the injection points.
Combustion systems will also require reducing the flame temperature, calculating the possible speed of a flame return and studying the adaptation of the flames in the different hearths, together with the control of the flame geometry. Along with these challenges, E&M considers that an in-depth study and limitation of NOx emissions is necessary, since although hydrogen does not produce CO2, it does generate NOx emissions, which must be counteracted either with a gas recirculation system or with a mixture with natural gas, among other methods.
To know more, link to our Whitepaper “Hydrogen Combustion Systems for Industry Decarbonization”