A right mix of experience and spirit of innovation gives ELCO the push to constantly refine its products and develop new ones to respond to market demands, in particular those related to the reduction of polluting emissions.
The growing attention to issues related to the environment has led to the development of advanced combustion technologies that use alternative fuels, as happens for example with hydrogen burners, a product of the future that ELCO is already able to offer today.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDROGEN IN THE DECARBONIZATION OF THE INDUSTRY
In recent years, decarbonization has become a fundamental issue in our lives, not only for improving the environment but also as a new way of understanding industrial relations and improving our production processes. After many years of intense debate, many countries are now committed to changing the global economy in a climate-friendly way.
In this context, hydrogen shall be deployed as a major future energy source, which is why various development projects are dealing with hydrogen production, transport and storage as well as feeding it into existing gas networks.
Hydrogen is thought to be able to provide up to 24% of total energy needs by 2050. This means that in the next few years we will have to deal with the transformation of a large number of plants that consume traditional fuels to make them suitable to work with hydrogen or with mixtures of gases, with hydrogen as the main fuel.
Hydrogen is the most occurring element in the universe and one of the most common elements on earth, where it is bounded in hydrocarbon compounds, in alkaline solutions or in water. However, elemental hydrogen can be found only in traces in the earth’s atmosphere and must be obtained through several processes.
TYPES OF HYDROGEN
The expected decrease in the cost of electrolysers and the technological developments in renewable energy technologies will soon create the conditions for large-scale green hydrogen production plants. Consequently, the production of green hydrogen could become easier and more convenient, and in the future become a way to manage, store and reuse energy produced from renewable sources:
Compared with natural gas, hydrogen has several peculiar carachteristics:
- it is colorless, odorless and tasteless;
- it is around 8 times lighter and can volatilize very quickly through porous materials or through the smallest leaks;
- the calorific value is lower by a factor of 3/3,5 than most commercially available natural gases;
- it has an extremely wide flammability range and the flame (almost invisible) burns about 8 times faster than natural gas;
- it needs 15 times less spark energy for ignition than natural gas and ignition speed is about 7 times higher
The theoretical replacement of natural gas with hydrogen within a system causes enormous changes in the air demand, flame temperature, combustion quality, power output and, due to the different density, also regarding gas pressure losses.
For all these reasons, integrate hydrogen into the energy mix requires a huge experience and specific know-how.
H2 READY SINCE THE 90s
ELCO has been manufacturing Low NOx combustion systems for several decades and can count on a strong expertise also with hydrogen applications, developed by our R&D Department since the 90s.
Thanks to the know-how developed on the field, ELCO is one of the few suppliers in the world that can already offer safe, reliable and performing Low NOx hydrogen burners, guaranteeing excellent results in terms of emission level, flame stability and energy efficiency.