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Digital twin for biomass boilers

Project description

New model for simulating biomass boilers

Fossil fuel boilers are inefficient, emit pollutant gases and particulates, and other disadvantages such as fouling, slagging, and corrosion. As biofuels become more commonplace, biofuel boilers will have to solve challenges faced by fossil fuel boilers while also being flexible enough to adapt to power demand and different biomass fuels. The EU-funded DT4BIOMASS project is developing a biomass boiler computer model that is more suited to simulating any biomass boiler so that biomass operators can easily incorporate the technology. The researchers are employing complex simulation techniques to model any part of a biomass boiler.


Future biomass boilers face the following challenges in the next years: the improvement of efficiency, the reduction of gaseous pollutant emissions (NOx, CO, HCl and SO2), the reduction of particulate matter emissions, mitigation of problems (fouling, slagging, corrosion) caused by ash deposits formation, flexibility to use different biomass fuels and to adapt to the power demand (start-up time, ramp rates, reducing minimum load). Since the important growth which is expected for this sector in the short/medium term, the enhancement of biomass boilers is becoming more demanded.
The manufacturing companies of biomass boilers base their design process in their experience and trial-and-error approaches. Although a reasonable solution can be found with this methodology, it can be far from optimal. Therefore, the digitalization of their design processes is necessary to give a step forward in the biomass boilers design. Simulation models (based on Computational Fluid Dynamics) have been extensively used to improve the design and operation of fossil fuel boilers. However, the incorporation of these techniques to biomass boiler manufacturing companies is insufficient. The higher complexity of the biomass combustion modelling hinders the access to these techniques (higher cost and expertise required) for this industry sector.
In this project Nabladot S.L. aims to develop a comprehensive and accurate biomass boiler model which can be adapted easily to simulate any biomass boiler and, in this way, to overcome the barriers to incorporate this technology to biomass boilers manufacturing/operator companies. Nabladot S.L. has available models to simulate any part of a biomass boiler excepting the fixed bed (or grate), which require the application of complex simulation techniques such as the Extended Discrete Element Method. To achieve this, NablaDot, S.L. proposes this project in which is requested the recruitment of an innovation associate (IA) with expertise in XDEM techniques.

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Net EU contribution
€ 75 500,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Noreste Aragón Zaragoza
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 75 500,00