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Re: Hydrogen Fired Boiler

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Posted by David Townsend on February 16, 2010 at 18:55:08:

In Reply to: Hydrogen Fired Boiler posted by Matt Cinadr II on January 26, 2006 at 15:42:38:

: Anyone out there have experience or heard of a boiler manufacturer firing on Hydrogen. Looking at hydrogen firing for 100,000 lbs/hr, 150 psig steam.

: Any suggestions, leads or contacts much appreciated.

: Thanks,

: Matt

Firing a boiler in that size range with hydrogen is definitely possible. The trick is in the burner design. Designing burners to handle 100% hydrogen is challenging, but it can be done. Poorly designed hydrogen burners vibrate and make lots of noise (they roar). With really poorly designed burners, the hydrogen flame can be very unstable and can actually lift off of the burner. Stick with one of the major burner manufacturers that has lots of experience burning hydrogen or refinery gas. You don't want to go with a low bid burner for hydrogen. The low bid burners will tend to have flame stability problems and will vibrate and roar.

Quite a few of the burner manufacturers limit the hydrogen concentration to 90-95% and the balance has to be methane. I have designed and operated multiple boilers in the 250,000 lb/hr range that are fired with 95% hydrogen. We have hydrogen-burning boilers with Coen burners and also with TODD Combustion burners (now Coen). Both of these burners work well. Coen can design a burner that will burn 100% hydrogen. Contact Paul Schwartz at Coen for help with a hydrogen burner. You can reach him at paul.schwartz@coen.com

One other issue you have to be concerned about with hydrogen burning boilers is the firebox size. Some manufacturers manage to get the "low bid" on boilers by undersizing the fire box. With an undersized firebox, you can have problems with the hydrogen flame impinging on the back wall of the boiler. We have Rentech and Babcock & Wilcox D-Style boilers burning hydrogen. With the Rentech boilers, there is no problem with flame impingement on the back wall. The Rentech boilers have large fireboxes for the boiler capacity. The Babcock and Wilcox boilers have a much smaller firebox for the same boiler capacity and we do see problems with flame impingement on the back wall.


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