• Research Overview 2013

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IFRF Director Leo Tognotti provides an overview of the facilities available and the upcoming campaigns planned at IFRF headquarters, with a focus on the EU co-funded RELCOM and BRISK projects which will form the core research activity for the next two years.

is now one of few experimental rigs allowing access to Oxy/RFG/Coal and Oxy/RFG/Gas flames at a pilot scale of 2 to 3 MW.  In the frame of RELCOM, two week-long tests are planned from 4th March on an ASSB burner in oxy-coal conditions.  In-flame and process measurements are scheduled, with the scope of completely characterizing the burner performances in different oxy-firing conditions and of providing the database for validating different modeling approaches, in the light of burner development criteria.  Other tests are also planned this year at the University of Stuttgart and CIUDEN (Spain) facilities.

With regard to conventional combustion, tests on a Russian coal with a very high ash content are scheduled for the end of February on FoSper furnace.  The scope is to verify the feasibility of burning this special coal in a low NOx burner and the associated emission levels.

More detail of these tests will be provided in a subsequent issue of MNM.

In-flame measuring instruments
In parallel with experimental activity, upgrades to probe carriages and in-flame measuring instruments continue as IFRF re-establishes its measurement capabilities and seeks to quantify the uncertainties in in-flame/furnace measurements.  The program for enhancing gas sampling and analysis capabilities by on-line FTIR system has been completed.  This allows for the evaluation of minor species and pollutant precursors in flame and it will be used in most of the FoSper campaigns.

IFRF Solid fuel database and Isothermal Plug Flow Reactor
The IFRF Solid fuel database is growing, with data provided by experimental tests on Isothermal Plug Flow Reactor (IPFR) on different coals and biomasses.  Following on from the campaigns carried out for RELCOM and BRISK in 2012 on three coals and several solid biofuels, more tests are planned in 2013, in particular on second generation solid biofuels for BRISK.  In February a specific IPFR campaign is planned on lignine samples.

BRISK features a Transnational Access mechanism which funds researchers from any EU country to carry out thermochemical biomass conversion research at a choice of 70 facilities.  In terms of the programme, payment is provided for the costs associated with accessing and supporting the facilities, along with a grant to contribute to travel, accommodation and subsistence.  At IFRF researchers may share experimental tests providing information on biomass combustion and gasification characteristics.

The IPFR is fully operational also for investigating the formation and fate of aerosols when firing coal and biomass blends in the presence of sulphur oxides.  The system has been equipped with a special chimney to reproduce temperature-time histories in fouling region and with an ELPI Dekati for aerosol quantitative assessment.  The methodology and the results obtained were the subject of an IFRF report in 2012 and will be further analysed this year. 

IFRF Members wishing to know more about this activity prior to publication should approach IFRF Director Leo Tognotti in the first instance.

Other activities
In 2012 the 500 KW furnace was employed for co-combustion studies, with a sub bituminous coal and a torrefied biomass for assessing the effect of biomass share on fouling tendency and emission levels. The report will be published in the next weeks.  The system is now set up for further co-firing campaigns in 2013.

In parallel, the modeling activities will continue in collaboration with the University of Pisa with the scope of defining and testing sub-models in validation processes developed on the basis of the availabiliìty of combustion and gasification pilot plants.

For an overview of IFRF Research Activities for the current triennial, IFRF Members may consult IFRF report K65/y/06 .

The next update on research at IFRF will be published in the February 11 edition of MNM.