Industrial gas burner development for natural gas-hydrogen mixturesCopyright: © Kueppers Solutions (left) and SMS-group (right)
While decarbonisation is already progressing in many sectors by means of renewably generated electricity, there is still a high demand for high-temperature heat in energy-intensive sectors such as steel production or steam generation. However, industrial gas burners used as an integral part contribute significantly to industrial CO2 emissions due to the fossil fuels currently used.
The partial or complete substitution of conventional fossil fuels (e.g. natural gas) with regeneratively produced hydrogen represents a key technology for CO2 emission avoidance in these industries. The greatest challenges for hydrogen-capable burners are compliance with the emission limits for nitrogen oxides and ensuring stable combustion control. The realisation of necessary complex cooling elements and fuel lines can be supported by additive manufacturing.
Demonstrating the technical feasibility and potential for reducing CO2 emissions from industrial gas burners paves the way for the availability of hydrogen-compatible burners and the integration of the industries involved in a hydrogen-based value network on the way to CO2-neutral industrial processes.
The group Process Analysis and Systems of the Institute of Power Plant Technology, Steam and Gas Turbines, in cooperation with university and industrial partners, focuses on the development of generic industrial burners for flexible operation with fuel mixtures consisting of natural gas (EG) and hydrogen (H2). In this context, suitable concepts are to be optimised in compliance with fuel and process-related boundary conditions and transferred to testing on a demonstration scale.
The initial investigation of the currently used burner configurations forms the basis for the development and provision of suitable numerical and geometric models for H2 burner systems, which represent the phenomenology of combustion and emission formation for different gas compositions. The optimisation of the air-fuel mixture for flexible hydrogen fractions in the fuel gas is implemented by synthesising between simulative and experimental analysis of the burners and a derived inverse geometry generation. The production of the burner by means of additive manufacturing processes is crucial for the implementation of a large number of optimisation options.
Finally, the scalability and industrial suitability will be demonstrated under the aspects of pollutant emissions, temperatures and process stability under operating conditions. This forms the basis for the industrial use of the developed burner systems as well as the transfer of the methods and competences to other problem areas (e.g. burners for stationary gas turbines and aircraft gas turbines).