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From Coal to Clean Energy: The Potential of FutureGen 2.0 for Carbon Reduction

June 14, 202310:24 am
  In this blog we investigate the US government's recent commitment to invest $1bn (£630m) in building FutureGen 2.0, the world's first coal-fuelled, near-zero emissions power plant. Hailed as a major step forward for the future of sustainable energy. The FutureGen 2.0 project The FutureGen 2.0 project is a collaboration between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, a non-profit consortium of energy companies. The project involves the development of a 275-megawatt power plant using oxy-combustion technology, which involves burning coal in pure oxygen rather than air to produce electricity. This process results in a pure stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be captured and stored, effectively removing it from the atmosphere. The construction of the FutureGen 2.0 power plant is a significant step towards the US government's goal of achieving a low-carbon energy future. The plant will demonstrate the viability of oxy-combustion technology for large-scale power generation, which has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The FutureGen 2.0 project builds upon the success of the original FutureGen project, which was launched in 2003 but was eventually cancelled due to cost overruns. The new project, however, benefits from technological advances and cost reductions in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The power plant will be built in Illinois, a major coal-producing state, and will serve as a model for other coal-fired power plants around the world. It is expected to create hundreds of jobs during construction and operation, and will generate clean energy to power homes and businesses in the region. The development of FutureGen 2.0 is also a significant achievement for the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, which is comprised of energy companies committed to developing and promoting clean coal technologies. The alliance has worked closely with the US government to secure funding and support for the project, which has been in development for several years. In conclusion, the US government's commitment to invest $1bn in the development of FutureGen 2.0 is a major milestone for the advancement of sustainable energy. The project demonstrates the potential of oxy-combustion technology to significantly reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, and serves as a model for other countries looking to transition to a low-carbon energy future. The construction of the power plant in Illinois will create jobs and generate clean energy, while the technological advancements and cost reductions achieved through the project will…

Exploring the Role of Artificial Intelligence in Combustion Control Systems

June 14, 202310:19 am
Combustion control systems are critical components of industrial processes that require combustion, such as power generation, oil and gas processing, and industrial heating. These systems regulate the air-fuel ratio, temperature, and other parameters to ensure efficient and safe combustion. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool for optimising combustion control systems and improving their performance, in this blog we explore the role of AI in more depth. Applications of Artificial Intelligence in combustion control systems One key application of AI in combustion control systems is predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance involves using data from sensors, machine logs, and other sources to detect patterns and anomalies that could indicate potential equipment failure. By analysing this data with AI algorithms, maintenance teams can identify issues before they become serious and take proactive measures to prevent equipment failure. This can minimise downtime and reduce maintenance costs, while also improving safety and reliability. Can AI help with fuel optimisation Another application of AI in combustion control systems is optimisation of fuel usage. By monitoring fuel consumption and combustion efficiency in real-time, AI algorithms can adjust the air-fuel ratio, fuel injection timing, and other parameters to maximise energy output and minimize emissions. This not only reduces operating costs but also helps companies meet regulatory requirements and reduce their carbon footprint. Data analysis in industrial processes One of the key benefits of AI in combustion control systems is its ability to adapt to changing conditions. Industrial processes can be complex and dynamic, with many variables affecting combustion performance. AI algorithms can quickly analyse data and adjust the combustion process to optimise performance in real-time. This can lead to significant improvements in efficiency and energy savings, as well as reduced emissions.  Real life examples Industrial applications of AI in combustion control systems are varied. In power generation, AI can help utilities optimise the combustion of fossil fuels and integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. For example, AI can be used to predict wind and solar availability and adjust the combustion process accordingly to optimise energy output. In oil and gas processing, AI can help companies optimise the refining process and minimise emissions. AI algorithms can analyse data from sensors and optimise the combustion process to reduce emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). In industrial heating, AI can help companies optimise the combustion of biomass,…

Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies for Industrial Combustion: Progress and Potential

June 14, 202310:14 am
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have emerged as a promising way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from industrial combustion processes. These technologies capture carbon dioxide (CO2) before it is released into the atmosphere and store it in underground geological formations. In this blog, we will explore the progress and potential of CCS technologies for industrial combustion. What is carbon capture and storage CCS CCS technologies for industrial combustion typically involve three steps: capture, transportation, and storage. The capture step involves capturing CO2 from flue gas emissions using various technologies such as absorption, adsorption, and membrane separation. The transportation step involves transporting the captured CO2 to the storage site via pipelines or other means. The storage step involves storing the CO2 in underground geological formations such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers. What are the advantages of CCS One of the key advantages of CCS technologies for industrial combustion is their ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the Petra Nova CCS project in Texas, USA, captures approximately 90% of CO2 emissions from a coal-fired power plant. This has resulted in the reduction of 1.6 million tons of CO2 emissions annually. Another example is the Sleipner CCS project in Norway, which has been operating since 1996 and has captured and stored over 23 million tons of CO2. Challenges associated with CCS technologies However, there are also challenges associated with CCS technologies for industrial combustion. One of the main challenges is the high cost of implementing these technologies. CCS requires significant capital investment and operational expenses, which can make it financially unfeasible for some industrial facilities. Moreover, the transportation and storage of CO2 can also be expensive and require significant infrastructure development. Despite these challenges, there are promising developments in CCS technologies for industrial combustion. For example, the use of advanced materials in capture technologies such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and hybrid membranes is showing potential for reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of CO2 capture. Additionally, advancements in pipeline technology and geological storage techniques are making it easier and more cost-effective to transport and store CO2. In conclusion, CCS technologies have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial combustion processes. While there are challenges associated with implementing these technologies, promising developments in materials, pipeline technology, and geological storage techniques are making CCS more feasible and cost-effective.  

Increasing demand for lower cost single fuel, fully integrated burner controls like the ETC6300

March 7, 20231:31 pm
In recent years, there has been a growing demand for lower cost, single fuel, fully integrated burner controls in smaller industrial manufacturing settings. This demand is driven by a number of factors, including increased energy costs, stricter environmental regulations, and a desire to improve overall efficiency and productivity. Our ETC6300 Controller provides exactly this, integrated burner control for smaller scale installations. The advantages of the ETC6300 One of the main advantages of lower cost, single fuel burner controls is their ability to reduce operating costs. By using a single fuel source, manufacturers can avoid the expense of purchasing and storing multiple types of fuel, as well as the costs associated with switching between fuel sources. Additionally, fully integrated burner controls can help to optimise the combustion process, resulting in higher energy efficiency and lower fuel consumption. The ETC6300 offers large commercial – or small industrial – settings the same capabilities, empowering businesses to manage their boiler set-up more effectively, improve their efficiency and save fuel – and money. Environmental benefits Another major benefit of these burner controls is their ability to meet strict environmental regulations. Single fuel systems can help to reduce emissions, as they eliminate the need for fuel switching and the associated emissions that come with it. Fully integrated controls also allow manufacturers to monitor and adjust the combustion process in real-time, further reducing emissions and improving overall environmental performance. The new ETC6300 Controller offers functional integration of flame and air pressure monitoring, gas leak detection, gas valve proving, PID modulation and air fuel ratio control in a single unit simplifying wiring and interconnections and improving reliability. Its small footprint means the ETC6300 Controller can be mounted directly within a burner enclosure. Our Plant Master mode is compatible with the ETC6300 Controller, allowing engineers to view the boiler setup as one system, making it easier than ever before to analyse numerous boiler results and ensure efficiency. Get in touch If you are looking for high quality equipment at a lower price point, then a single fuel burner may be ideal for your setup. They are less complicated and lower cost to purchase and offer further cost savings in efficiency as well as the added value of the additional features that the ETC6300 provides. Overall, the demand for lower cost, single fuel, fully integrated burner controls in industrial manufacturing settings is driven by a desire to reduce operating costs,…

Fueling Sustainability in Central and South American Industry

March 7, 202312:38 pm
European Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have been providing combustion solutions to industrial manufacturing facilities in South and Central America for a number of years. These solutions facilitate the manufacture of items including chemicals, food, and textiles. In this blog, we'll explore how this relationship benefits South and Central America. Economic growth The industrial sector is a significant contributor to the economic growth of any nation. However, it is also responsible for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions. As the world focuses on reducing its carbon footprint, industries must find ways to reduce their environmental impact while maintaining their productivity. This is where European OEMs come in. They are at the forefront of developing sustainable combustion solutions that help industries reduce their environmental footprint. Essential component to manufacturing The combustion process is essential for industrial manufacturing applications as it generates the heat and power needed. However, if not properly managed, the process can lead to harmful emissions. European OEMs have developed advanced combustion technologies, such as low NOx burners and flue gas recirculation systems, that reduce emissions while increasing efficiency. Reducing emissions through improved combustion By partnering with European OEMs, industries in these regions can adopt advanced technologies that help them meet these regulatory requirements to reduce carbon emissions. The adoption of these combustion solutions is essential for the industrial sector in South and Central America. It allows industries to maintain their productivity while reducing their environmental impact. For example, in the food industry, combustion solutions can be used to dry fruits and vegetables, pasteurize milk, and sterilize food products. In the textile industry, these solutions can be used to dry fabrics, dye textiles, and remove wrinkles. These processes are critical for the production of food and textiles, and by reducing their environmental impact, industries can continue to operate while meeting environmental regulations. Moreover, the adoption of sustainable combustion solutions can also lead to significant cost savings. By increasing efficiency and reducing energy consumption, industries can save money on fuel and energy costs. Additionally, reducing emissions can also help companies avoid costly fines for non-compliance with environmental regulations. ExxonMobil Chemical ExxonMobil Chemical was recognised in 2005 for its use of technology and innovation to improve environmental performance in its manufacturing processes. Specifically, the company was noted for its work in the area of flaring reduction, which refers to the practice of burning off excess hydrocarbons as a way of disposing…

Improving environmental impact using biofuels 

March 7, 202312:19 pm
Industrial boilers are a critical component in many manufacturing and production processes, providing heat, power, and steam for a variety of purposes. One way to improve the efficiency and environmental impact of these boilers is by utilising biofuels, which are derived from renewable biological sources rather than relying on fossil fuels. In this scenario, we will look at an industrial facility that produces plastic products. The facility uses an industrial boiler to heat the plastic pellets used in the manufacturing process. The boiler is currently fueled by gas, but the facility is looking to reduce its carbon footprint and decrease its dependence on fossil fuels. Bio-fuels The facility decided that its long-term goal to limit its carbon footprint is to switch to using biofuels in its industrial boiler, specifically biogas as the primary fuel source. The biogas is creating using an anaerobic digester which turns food waste into a fuel source. To make the transition to using biofuels, the facility must first retrofit the industrial boiler to be able to handle the different fuel type. This includes installing making adjustments to the combustion controls to ensure proper combustion of the waste wood chips. The facility also needs to invest in new handling and storage equipment for the waste wood chips. Once the retrofit is complete, the facility can begin using the biogas as the primary fuel source for the industrial boiler. The biogas is fed into the boiler using an automated system, which ensures a steady and consistent supply of fuel. The boiler is able to efficiently combust the biogas, providing the necessary heat for the manufacturing process. Reducing carbon footprint By switching to using biofuels in the industrial boiler, the facility is able to reduce its carbon footprint and decrease its dependence on fossil fuels. The use of food waste also has a positive impact on the local community by providing an alternative use for the scraps, rather than disposing of it as waste. Cost savings The facility also benefits from cost savings as biofuels are generally cheaper to source than fossil fuels. The use of biogas also reduces the need to purchase fuel, as the local community provides the food waste at a reduced cost or even for free. Furthermore, the facility also receives credits and incentives from the government for using biofuels and reducing the carbon footprint. This helps to offset the initial investment in retrofitting the…

Utilising dual fuels in an Industrial setup

March 7, 202311:30 am
Industrial boilers are critical components in many manufacturing and production processes. They are used to generate steam and hot water for a variety of purposes, such as heating, power generation, and sterilisation. One way to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these boilers is to run them on dual fuels. Dual fuel boilers Dual fuel boilers are designed to operate on two different fuel sources, either by switching between them or by using both simultaneously. The most common dual fuel combination is natural gas and fuel oil, but other fuels such as biomass can also be used. The advantages of using dual fuels in industrial boilers are numerous. One of the most significant benefits is increased efficiency. By using two different fuel sources, the boiler can take advantage of the strengths of each fuel while compensating for their weaknesses. For example, natural gas is a clean burning fuel that is relatively inexpensive, but it can be difficult to obtain in certain areas. Fuel oil, on the other hand, is widely available and can be stored on site, but it is more expensive and produces more emissions. By using both fuels together, the boiler can take advantage of the low cost and clean burning properties of natural gas while also having a reliable backup source of fuel in case of shortages or disruptions. Cost savings Another advantage of dual fuel boilers is cost savings. The cost of fuel can vary greatly depending on market conditions, and by using two different fuels, the boiler can take advantage of the most cost-effective fuel at any given time. This can lead to significant cost savings over time. Additionally, using dual fuels also means reduced dependence on a single fuel source, which can be beneficial for companies that rely on a single fuel source. It can be especially useful for companies located in remote areas or areas with an unreliable fuel supply. Complexities However, it is important to note that running industrial boilers on dual fuels can also increase the complexity of the boiler system. Proper maintenance and management is necessary to ensure safe and efficient operation. It is also important to have a good understanding of the different fuel requirements and characteristics to ensure proper combustion and avoid potential problems such as clogging or corrosion. How ETC can help Running industrial boilers on dual fuels can be an effective way to increase efficiency, reduce…

Plastics Producers: How Mitigating Gas Loss Can Help This Energy-Hungry Industry

October 20, 202212:51 pm
The bleak midwinter is soon to be upon us, with rising energy costs and potential shortages in supply set to hit industry as hard as domestic households. There seems to be only one answer: reduce energy consumption or pay the price. In this blog we investigate how to avoid the imminent winter emergency. Global gas consumption increased by 4.8% in 2021, amounting to a staggering 4.04 trillion cubic metres. Of that usage, Germany is pinpointed as the largest consumer of natural gas in Europe, responsible for 8.6 billion cubic feet per day⁠.  Despite usage appearing to drop in the first quarter of 2022, the trend is still on the up⁠ and the German Government has warned of a ‘hard winter’ ahead. Guidance outlines that a reduction of 20% in usage is needed to avoid an emergency⁠  situation - the consequences of which could include severe shortages and an inability to forecast when and where these will hit. Industrial processes use vast quantities of natural gas. For example, according to the Federation of German Industries (BDI), German industry uses 245 Terawatt hours (TWh) annually, of which 209 TWh is attributed to processes including creating steam for plastic makers⁠.  With this usage comes the responsibility of reducing its inherent impact, both on the environment and on supply, and how to do so could be the key to avoiding the seemingly imminent winter emergency. Decreasing usage seems to be the most obvious way of reducing impact, however, conversely, the simplest and easiest way to reduce gas consumption is not to focus on where to cut use, but to focus on what is lost throughout a process. Let’s take the German plastics industry as an example: statistics show that it is a high net user of natural gas.  Heat produced during the manufacture of plastics is essentially doing nothing other than eventually disappearing, having served no purpose at all: the very epitome of waste. Mitigating this lost energy is a conundrum for our plastics manufacturer –  improving the efficiency of operations is key, but how much energy will it save in real terms? Let’s start by highlighting how much energy can be lost by continuing to use an inefficient system. Several areas will be taken into consideration when calculating the overall efficiency of the manufacturer’s system, including thermal efficiency, which measures how well the system transfers heat; combustion efficiency, which calculates levels of carbon…

What is behind the forecast growth in the industrial burner market

September 30, 20221:35 pm
It has been heavily reported that the industrial burner market is forecasted to experience a tremendous growth within the period from 2020 to 2027. The reason behind this projected growth is the anticipated rise in the usage of burner management systems. A burner management system, or BMS, is a safety system used to ensure the safe start-up, operation, and shut down of process burners. The growth during the period to 2027 can be attributed to a number of factors, including. The increased industrialisation of developing economies The global reliance on boilers in industries such as, oil and gas, petrochemical, textiles and food production. The growing appreciation of the importance of boiler maintenance and repair schedules. Industrial growth in Asia Pacific According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), global energy consumption is expected to increase by roughly 50% between 2018 and 2050. The majority of this growth is concentrated in regions with substantial economic growth, notably in the Asia Pacific region. Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the most important market for industrial burners in the coming years. The low cost of land and labour – as well as the affordability of raw materials – has seen a number of worldwide players setting up their assembling hubs in India and China, this is anticipated to boost the Asia Pacific industrial burner market in the coming years. Industrial burner market dynamics worldwide Industrial burners are a key component of every boiler and furnace heating system that provide temperature control for manufacturing facilities, as well as other heating processes during manufacturing – this may include the heating of fluids, the generation of steam and the thermal energy needed for atoms and molecules to move faster and collide with each other. As such, industrial burners have become a fundamental part of the operations in all industries which has fuelled overall sector growth. The role of Burner Management Systems Burner Management Systems support the safe start up, process and shut down of the multiple burner furnace section of a boiler. BMS are being increasingly adopted across a wide range of industries, they can improve plant operations by providing reliable and safe burner operations. Offering reduced maintenance costs and helping to ensure improved safety and a safer work environment for plant operators. The demand for burner management systems has also substantially increased across a wide range of end-use industries such as chemicals, oil &…

How Porsche is battling to save the combustion engine

September 21, 20226:11 pm
We have all seen the news stories surrounding the rise in electric cars, by 2040, it is expected that almost every new car sold will be electric, however Porsche is taking a different approach – looking at eFuel instead. The European Union last year approved a plan to phase out the sale of vehicles with combustion engines by 2035, in a bid to reduce CO2 emissions to zero. This prompted the majority of car makers to focus on the research and development of electric cars. However policymakers simply want automakers to reduce emissions to zero, they do not actually mind how this feat is achieved. If the automotive sector can prove that zero carbon can be achieved by the adoption of eFuels then they could indeed be approved for use. Porsche has plans to produce a synthetic eFuel and claims the new fuel will allow near CO2 neutral ICE engine operation - to car enthusiasts this is hugely promising. The eFuel is sustainably generated with electricity gathered from wind turbines. The innovative plant breaks water down into its main components – hydrogen and water. The hydrogen is then processed with CO2 to produce a substance called e-methanol. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume states that "Combustion engines can be powered with eFuels in a virtually carbon-neutral manner. They don't have to be converted or retrofitted for it. E-fuels can be offered as an admixture or alone at all filling stations. We have to offer an option to the owners of existing vehicles too." Blume believes that the purchase price will depend on future production locations. With the right approach there is a possibility that this new eFuel could cost less than $2 per litre. Blume continued "The important thing is that synthetic fuels are produced sustainably and in places in the world where renewable energy is abundant - then the higher energy input for production is irrelevant." With the current energy crisis affecting many the prospect of a cost-effective alternative fuel is a development that we watch with interest. To learn more about how Energy Technology & Control is helping its customers navigate the energy price rise, contact us today.