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CORDIS

Developing Plasma-assisted ammonia technology for decarbonisation of power production

Project description

Ammonia technology for carbon-free energy generation

Climate change is a growing global threat. Harnessing green energy sources could mitigate the damaging impacts of climate change. Take for instance, the plasma-assisted combustion of liquid ammonia. This could prove to be an efficient, carbon-free alternative to hydrogen energy as well as hydrocarbon fuels for gas turbine engines used in energy and power production. The EU-funded PlasNH3 project aims to optimise the existing burner for pure ammonia while maintaining high fuel efficiency and low combustion emissions. It will also assist in overcoming current challenges that are slowing its introduction. The project is built on an ongoing project by the Gas Turbine Research Centre (GTRC) of Cardiff University, which has already started investigating ammonia flames.

Objective

This proposal aims to benefit from the low-cost storage of liquid ammonia as a carbon-free hydrogen alternative energy resource and mitigate associated issues to its utilisation to replace hydrocarbon fuels in existing gas turbine engines (GTEs) for power production. It is built up ongoing projects at the Gas Turbine Research Centre (GTRC), where currently ammonia flames are investigated, experimentally. Two challenging aims have been identified: (i) to enhance the reactivity of ammonia/air mixtures and improve the fundamental combustion characteristics of ammonia for use in GTEs; (ii) to optimise the existing burner for operating with pure ammonia while maintaining high fuel efficiency and low combustion emissions. The novelty of the current project relies on the fundamental study of plasma-assisted combustion to improve the reactivity of ammonia rather than currently used approaches by blending of the ammonia molecule with more reactive fuels (i.e. hydrocarbons, hydrogen, etc.). The concept will ensure faster ammonia/air reactivity by modifying the kinetics of oxidation based on the concept of plasma-assisted combustion, avoiding the blending of the ammonia molecule with more reactive fuels (i.e. hydrocarbons, hydrogen, etc.). The project includes both detailed physical experimentation using an state-of-the-art optical combustion diagnostic facility at GTRC, as well as detailed multi-scale numerical simulations, covering all scales of the underlying processes from atomic and molecular levels, to the smallest scales of turbulent fluctuations to the actual burner size. Timeliness of the project is ideal to support the use of ammonia as fuel in power applications, marine engines, and heavy load transportation systems. Its success contributes to the decarbonisation of the power generation sector, whilst delivering a unique technology, without precedent, for power and transportation purposes.

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom

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Region
West Midlands (England) West Midlands Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 224 933,76