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Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT and industry develop emission-free energy technology


Emissions under control in coal combustion with new technology

VTT is developing technology that will allow fuels including coal to be utilised more efficiently in energy production; even without emitting any carbon dioxide.

In the new technology fossil fuels are combusted with pure oxygen separated from the air. Combustion gas consists mostly of carbon dioxide and water vapour. Carbon dioxide can be liquefied after cooling and stored in geological formations.

VTT is currently studying in co-operation with Foster Wheeler the phenomena relating to oxygen combustion using VTT’s test reactors in Jyväskylä. A larger co-operation project, with the objective of demonstrating oxygen combustion technology in the size of 30-50 megawatts is being planned around year 2010.

This technology has major significance for climate change, since about one third of carbon dioxide emissions caused by humans come from fossil fuels in energy production.

Less emissions soon also in practice

A circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler functioning with supercritical steam conditions has already been developed in a project coordinated by VTT and funded by the EU. Its carbon dioxide emissions are 15-20 per cent lower than those of traditional boilers. Foster Wheeler Energia Oy, Siemens PG and EnergoProjekt Katowice have been acting as partners in the project.

On the basis of the development work, Foster Wheeler is building the world’s largest CFB boiler of 460 megawatts of electric power in Poland. It is also the first CFB boiler with supercritical steam parameters and once through principle.

As a continuation to the successful co-operation project, a new three-year EU project has just been launched. Its objective is to design a circulating fluidized bed boiler of 800 megawatts of electric power, and for which efficiency will be even better and emissions lower.

Jouni Hämäläinen | alfa
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