Hydrogen and Biofuels Combustion

IDEAL: Intelligent Decarbonized and Low Emissions Power Generation

Power generation, transportation and other industries that utilize combustion are of the largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions
with nearly 70% of the total in 2018. To reduce pollution at this scale, the current strategy aims to drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels
by increasing the penetration of renewable energies via manufacturing green fuels that can be utilized using the existing infrastructures to
produce power. Among these fuels we find hydrogen, ammonia, biofuels (methanol, ethanol) and synthetic fuels like methane and DME,
which can be artificially produced using electricity, water and carbon monoxide. This approach is especially relevant in sectors in which the
end-use applications do not require electricity as an energy source and will facilitate the transportation of green energy to regions located
far from renewable energy sources.

Fernando Veiga-López, Mike Kuznetsov, Daniel Martínez-Ruiz, Eduardo Fernández-Tarrazo, Joachim Grune, and Mario Sánchez-Sanz Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 174501 – Published 1 May 2020

Transportation, heating in buildings and high-temperature industry are among the applications that
might benefit from this strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions. The objective of the IDEAL project is to identify relevant problems
associated with the chemical and electrochemical use of hydrogen and ammonia and their blends with other fuels of green origin. To
achieve this endeavor, we divide the project into four thematic blocks:
1. Hydrogen reforming: indirect utilization of ammonia, biofuels and methane to produce hydrogen using reforming systems..

2. Green fuel combustion: direct utilization of these energy-carriers to produce heat using combustion and, especially, evaluation of the emission of greenhouse gases and stability of flames under pressure and temperature conditions relevant for industrial applications.

3. Direct utilization of hydrogen, hydrogen-derived fuels and reformate gas in electrochemical devices. Optimization of components,
focusing on the fluid mechanic problems associated with the fabrication techniques of electrodes and with the design of gas flow manifolds
for single cell and fuel cell stacks.

4. Safety aspect related to storage, transportation and handling of hydrogen and its blends with other fuels to avoid the risk of explosion
and autoignition at low temperatures.

Leveraging the knowledge and experience of the members of the research team in reactive and non-reactive flows, this proposal suggests
a strategy that iterates between rigorous theory, realistic numerical simulations and innovative, controlled laboratory experiments with the
final goal of promoting the penetration of hydrogen, hydrogen-derived fuels and reformate gas in power generation applications. The
numerical-experimental approach of the IDEAL project highlights the difficulty and the scientific uncertainties of power systems that use
green fuels but also gives a measure of the challenges faced to introduce carbon-neutral fuels into existing power generation devices
designed around fossil-fuels.