Hydrogen acts as alternative energy source for two powerful steam boilers
Having added two powerful steam boilers to our engineering design, each with a burner capacity of 20 MW, we are meeting Vynova's large steam requirements. After all, steam increases the purity of the large amounts of potassium hydroxide (KOH) that are made in Tessenderlo, a substance that is the source of the byproduct hydrogen.
In 2018, Vynova boosted KOH production with an additional unit that, in its turn, allowed them to create more hydrogen. More than 1,200 kg/h of hydrogen had no useful purpose at that time. Until the Cauls got to work and engineered a hydrogen-fired boiler. For this pioneer work, they worked closely with our sister company Optimum by Callens.
Working from challenges to solutions
The challenges posed by hydrogen as an alternative energy source put our engineers on edge. The burner had to be able to run on hydrogen, natural gas, and the combination of both fuels. On top of that, we made sure that switching fuels does not trigger a burner shutdown.
Furthermore, we took into account the NOx emissions that had to be lower than 80 mg/Nm3 and noise emissions that should not exceed 80 dBA at 1-meter distance. Finally, we also took into account ergonomics for operators and technicians during the design phase.
Then came the burner with its technical challenges. Yet, we came up with smart solutions. In order to keep the combustion chamber load under control, we extended the combustion chamber and the rear return chamber. And we implemented flue gas recirculation. However, the latter causes condensation of the combustion air in cold temperatures, which we solved with an air preheater.
By the way, did you know that our rental boilers have been keeping the process warm for a long time? That way, the customer could already launch his production process while we were working on this state-of-the-art project.
- Capacity: 2 x 30 tons/h
- Design pressure: 16 barg
- Fuels: hydrogen, natural gas, mix hydrogen + natural gas
- CO2 reduction: 10,000 tons/year
- Available amount of H2: > 1,200 kg/h