Within the last 15 years, WSA has gained significant experience and competence in pulverised coal combustion for different atmospheres comprising atmospheric and pressurized combustion with air as well as atmospheric combustion under oxyfuel conditions.
Two research projects (EU- and BMWi-funded) focusing on pressurized combustion using air, have revealed insight into the combustion of different coals accompanied by development and validation of pyrolysis models for use within CFD-modelling. Approx. 15 PhD theses have been carried out within this research area, whilst these efforts were accompanied by a specific lecture for graduate students generating knowledgeable young engineering professionals.
Starting in 2004, WSA has been leading a joint research group of 6 RWTH institutes and 6 industrial partners within the German COORETEC initiative.
In the course of this project a novel oxyfuel power plant process based on MIEC membranes for oxygen delivery has been developed. WSA specific tasks were investigation of combustion and hot gas cleaning as well as process simulation. For the combustion process a unique test facility enabling hot flue gas recirculation has been erected and operated. As oxyfuel flames tend to become unstable compared to standard air combustion conditions, specific knowledge for flame stabilisation and combustion behaviour was gained and finally led to patenting the process of burning pulverised coal at various oxygen concentrations by using a swirl stabilised burner.
For the CFD-modelling new char and pyrolysis kinetic models were needed. To obtain kinetical data in different atmospheres for model validation a small scale fluidized bed reactor has been developed. This reactor will be used for the experimental investigations within the frame of the proposed project.
Biomass conversion to coal-like solid fuels has been addressed by torrification investigations, which have led to projects with industrial partners.
RWTH, WSA Homepage: http://www.wsa.rwth-aachen.de/