• IFRF to participate in new EU cofunded Oxy-coal Project

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IFRF has secured a key role in the new European Commission co-funded RELCOM oxy-coal R&D project which kicked off on 1 December 2011.  IFRF is amongst 13 partners (including 7 IFRF Member Organisations) in the project. The project coordinator is UK’s University of Glamorgan who have made available the following summary:

RELCOM—Reliable and Efficient Combustion of Oxygen/Coal/Recycled Flue Gas Mixtures
FP7-ENERGY-2010-2 Collaborative project number 268191


Coal will remain a major fuel for electricity generation worldwide for at least several decades.  To reduce the impact of climate change, the power generation industry will be increasingly required to reduce its CO2 emissions.  Improvement of cycle efficiency and increased use of biomass will help reduce CO2 emissions in the near term, but the longer term need to move to near-zero emission power generation will require the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

Oxyfuel combustion is a CCS technology where fuel is fired with oxygen instead of air, the flue gases then largely consist of CO2 and water vapour so that CO2 purification is readily achieved.  Recycle of flue gas mitigates the flame temperature and helps to avoid unacceptable changes in the slagging and corrosion characteristics of the boiler making oxyfuel combustion suitable for retrofit or new-build coal power plant.  Oxyfuel combustion has been demonstrated at 40MWt but commercial-scale demonstration is the next necessary step.

The RELCOM project is designed to undertake a systematic and focused series of applied research, development and demonstration activities involving both experimental studies and combustion modelling work to enable full-scale early demonstration oxyfuel plant to be designed and specified with greater confidence as well as providing improved assessment of the commercial risks and opportunities.  The project will be undertaken by a consortium of higher education institutions, research centres and industrial partners bringing together the best in research facilities and technology development expertise.

The key tasks within the project are:

  • Underpinning technology investigation including: fuel and combustion characterisation; flame radiation and explosion characteristics; high temperature gas-side corrosion; flue gas clean-up; and mercury emissions in oxy/coal/recycled flue gas.
  • CFD simulation and validation to develop improved burner designs, flame stability assessment and scaling rules.
  • Pilot-scale burner trials for assessment of novel burner designs and development of combustion monitoring and control systems.
  • Medium-scale burner testing using pilot scale results and scaling criteria developed within the project.
  • Detailed engineering analysis of retrofit and new-build case studies utilising the fundamental data and modelling tools developed within the project.
  • Dissemination and technology transfer of findings to project stakeholders.

The project has a total project value (including the industrial contribution) of €9,736,057 with the EU contributing €6,468,900 over a project duration of 4 years.

University of Glamorgan – Coordinator (UK) 

Abo Akademi (Finland)

E.On New Build & Technology Ltd. (UK) 

Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Germany)

Electricite de France S.A. (France) 

University of Leeds (UK)

Instytut Energetyki (Poland) 

Universitaet Stuttgart (Germany)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) 

Doosan Power Systems Ltd. (UK)

Enel Ingegneria e Innovazione SpA (Italy) 

Fundación Ciudad de la Energía (Spain)

International Flame Research Foundation (Italy)

Note on the IFRF Role in RELCOM from IFRF Director Leo Tognotti

The RELCOM project is designed to overcome the main technical challenges which currently inhibit the large-scale demonstration of oxy-pulverised coal firing.  As such the participants will undertake a systematic and focused series of applied research, development and demonstration activities involving both experimental studies and combustion modelling work to resolve existing technical uncertainties and barriers which inhibit commercial deployment of the technology. The experimental work will cover a scale running from a few hundred kilowatts up to 20MW multi- burner tests.

IFRF will participate in several of the RELCOM R&D Work Packages, dealing with the characterisation of coals burning in oxygen/flue-gas mixtures,  supporting ENEL in undertaking two sets of tests on the Livorno  FOSPER 3MW oxy/flue-gas single burner furnace, and preparing/delivering data sets for model validation. The project will also see IFRF push ahead with the application of new measurement techniques required for oxy-coal firing tests.

IFRF will also be responsible for dissemination of the research results and other information produced within the project.  A number of dedicated TOTeMs will be organised during the life of the project and, as always IFRF Members will be invited to participate. In the coming months, IFRF will establish the RELCOM project website, and use its Monday Night Mail to circulate profiles of the RELCOM partners and the facilities they will deploy. IFRF Members wishing to have further insight into the IFRF’s specific role in RELCOM and the opportunities it offers IFRF Members are invited to contact IFRF Director Leo Tognotti