Combustion Technologies Review

Combustion technology has always set flame technologies as research highways. Over the past fifty years the power generation industry, and other manufacturing sectors like refinery, petrochemical etc., have been carrying out an impressive sequence of development steps in the field of flames to improve energy efficiency and to reduce pollutants and by-products. Indeed today’s Jet flames technology incorporates the most advanced devices and solutions that sophisticated fluid-dynamic models can suggest.

A parallel race is taking place in terms of ever more stringent regulations concerning the control of combustion pollutants that impact negatively on both humans and the environment.

Novel sensors are lowering the detection limits of noxious species by many orders of magnitude, giving rise to new concerns and the projection of new regulations.

The possibility of further studies on nano-particle (particles below 1 micron size) led to examine the effects of soot (the condensation of particles of pyrogenic species present in the fumes of gas fuels like methane) and it is probable that research in progress on nano-particles will lead regulatory bodies to be more careful and adopt more stringent rules on concentration of heavy metals in the emissions.

Moreover more stringent emission-limits and taxation penalties are already being projected for application to NOx and CO2.

If we consider the evolution of fuels, it is clear the tendency to use low ranking fuels, often polluted and therefore more difficult to be treated with traditional combustion technologies ensuring environmental respect.

This gap between the increasingly stringent regulations on one hand and the use of difficult fuels on the other side imperatively leads to a significant leap in flame technology and/or post-treatment fumes technologies.

The on-going debate in recent years focuses on this alternative: the decision whether to continue along research and development on traditional flames technologies and fumes cleaning, requiring more and more investments in marginal improvements, or to move to a new system to oxidize carbon and hydrogen contained in the fuels.

ISOTHERM Pwr ® Flameless Oxy-Combustion Technology is the most advanced technology in the second direction, as it has completed its development and has competitive industrial solutions for many applications.