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HERC Chip for More Efficient Natural Gas Based Industrial Heating Systems

Project description

Clean, green technology to lower GHG emissions with novel plasma-assisted combustion

It is expected that yearly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will see an increase of 50 % by 2040. Not even state-of-the-art emission control or combustion technologies will be able to keep this rise in check. While combustion efficiency can help lower GHG emissions, existing industrial boiler systems struggle to achieve combustion efficiencies above 90 %. To make combustion more efficient and environmentally friendly the Estonian company EFENCO has developed a proprietary plasma-assisted technology, which will be validated and commercialised by the EU-funded HERC project. HERC will perform a feasibility study involving both commercialisation and technical features. By lowering the use of fuel and reducing emissions, the technology will contribute to Europe’s vision of full decarbonisation by 2050.


Natural gas is growingly the main energy source for most industrial processes. As the amount of annual GHG emissions is expected to rise 50% by 2040, even the most sophisticated emission control or combustion technologies will struggle to tame this increase. Thus, most European industries face major challenges regardless of future mitigation commitments, including increased competition with other regions that have competitive advantages through lower cost fuels or carbon taxes. Reducing GHG emissions comes down to combustion efficiency. It is very difficult to achieve combustion efficiencies above 90% with current industrial boiler systems. Efenco has developed a proprietary plasma assisted technology that makes combustion more efficient and environmentally friendly. The technology uses small and robust multilayer devices to harvest waste heat from the combustion chamber to create plasma without additional energy, resulting in lower fuel usage and reduced emissions as less fuel is burned to achieve the same energy output. Our cost-effective technology is mainly meant for retrofitting existing combustion boilers in industrial heating systems. Our primary target group (end-users) include industrial operators with natural gas based heating systems that have a heat power capacity greater than 1 megawatt (MW). Currently, there are an estimated 50 000 systems in Europe meeting this criterion. We address the global combustion controls, equipment and systems market, estimated to reach over €132 billion by 2025. By scaling up rapidly, our objective is to reach €40 million in sales by 2024. During the Phase-1 project, Efenco will conduct a comprehensive feasibility study that includes both commercialisation and technical aspects of the innovation. In a more long-term view we are working with Safran, a high-tech industrial group, to potentially offer our technology in the global turbofan engines market.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Ranna 3d
40231 Sillamae

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Eesti Eesti Kirde-Eesti
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 21 429,00