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“More efficient hydrogen combustion systems” as an objective. From E&M Combustión they want to respond to challenges such as improving the energy efficiency of their industrial clients, designing and implementing innovative combustion technologies with mixed burners and alternative fuel burners, being “a good formula to squeeze energy savings, with dual burners that they can automatically switch from using one fuel to another depending on costs”, remarked Iñigo Béjar, CEO of E&M Combustion in an interview with Industry TALKS. In general, the company looks towards sustainable and alternative fuels that achieve energy savings.
- How have alternative fuel burners evolved?
Combustion equipment is in a permanent process of innovation and technological development because they have to respond to the challenges of environmental regulations and market costs, and at the same time they must adapt to the specific needs of each client in their combustion processes. Awareness of the enormous risks that climate change entails has prompted us in recent years to consider abandoning fossil fuels and seeing green hydrogen as a factor of great interest in the energy transition, as a tool for decarbonizing the industry, and from commercial and institutional facilities, since it eliminates CO2, which is largely responsible for this climate change. And it has already been seen how the use of hydrogen in chemical and petrochemical plants favors the reduction of emissions and improves the efficiency of boilers.
In general we are going towards sustainable and alternative fuels with an eye on energy savings. However, this energy transition towards renewable energies has encountered market difficulties in these times and the high costs of fuels such as gas and oil, which still support a large part of the production processes. And this has caused many companies in the industry to demand immediate solutions to lower the energy bill, which in some sectors represent a very high percentage of production costs. For this reason, it is very common at this time for plants to use alternating fuels to minimize this expense. Technologically, combustion engineers and manufacturers are prepared to respond to this demand for burners that can use one or more fuels alternatively and automatically, depending on these costs.
R&D to obtain more efficient hydrogen combustion systems
- What projects is E&M Combustión involved in?
At E&M Combustion we are responding to these challenges of improving the energy efficiency of our industrial clients, designing and implementing innovative combustion technologies with mixed burners and alternative fuel burners such as biogas, recycled oils, etc., made “to measure” and equipment for work in potentially explosive areas and with hydrogen burners or a mixture of different fuels.
In this sense, the company is developing new R&D projects for the development and manufacture of more efficient and ecological hydrogen combustion systems, through the use of advanced numerical simulations in the design process to optimize chamber designs. existing combustion and reduce polluting emissions.
- Regarding the great increase in energy costs, what challenges does E&M Combustion face?
For our clients, the invoice for energy costs in their production or energy generation processes is very important. Sectors such as metallurgy and iron and steel, for example, or paper, glass, food, fertilizers, and ceramics and textiles are large energy consumers in which rises in gas prices have a decisive impact. And they’ve seen their energy costs increase four or five times in a very short time. So in the short term, the situation requires a solution to energy prices, through energy saving and efficiency measures or fuel changes to avoid further reducing their profit margin or having to close temporarily. As an example, the implementation of mixed burners that use diesel or propane, as an alternative to the use of natural gas, is a good formula to squeeze energy savings, with dual burners that can automatically switch from using one fuel to another depending on costs.
Improvement of energy efficiency in industry
- What technologies will the company apply to reduce polluting emissions?
One of the company’s strategic lines for the coming years is to continue with energy efficiency and the reduction of emissions, for which we developed Low NOx burners with greater efficiency in terms of fuel consumption and flexibility of operation and with the progressive reduction of atmospheric emissions. We also continue to develop combustion equipment for alternative fuels and multi-fuel burners.
- What solutions does E&M Combustion provide to improve energy efficiency?
Given the current energy emergency situation, it seems necessary to consider saving solutions in the boilers, with the installation of economizers or hot air preheaters, combustion control and optimization systems, thermal insulation systems for the installation, pressurized condensate collection systems high temperature and state-of-the-art combustion systems that can lower the energy bill.
- How does E&M Combustion prepare for winter?
In the short term, and regardless of the global solutions provided by the countries, the demand of thermal and combustion power plants is aimed at reducing their energy bill. Each case is different according to its circumstances, so it is necessary to previously analyze all the possibilities so that each company has a personalized solution to its challenges. The objectives will go through providing solutions that allow optimal performance of the installation, to reduce fuel consumption, and to implement equipment that allows the use of poly-fuels with lower costs.
- How do you face the need and scarcity of new professional profiles?
Due to the subsidy policies and lack of a culture of effort fostered for many years, we do not expect that we will be able to count on qualified young professionals in the coming years until society collapses and someone realizes that the European model, and Spanish in particular, it is a big failure. And this is going to take a few years, although it will come for sure. At this time the solution is to preserve the talent we have and attract the one that remains in the generations with a culture of effort that are not exactly those of today’s young people.
On the other hand, we are preparing the expansion of the India office to hire and train technicians who can support us with start-ups abroad, given that young people do not want to travel for work reasons -regardless of the salary – and also to give us support to the technical office. The definitive solution is to know how to retain the talent that we have left and train young people in other countries who can help us.