Latest Developments in Flameless Combustion Technologies and its Application in Power Generation and Process Heating


Prof. Ashwani Gupta, Dr. Michael Flamme


Hotel Dom Pedro Golf, Vilamoura, Portugal, 24-25 March 2008



The world total energy consumption will increase by 70% until 2030. According the International Energy Outlook 2006 fossil fuels continue to supply much of the energy used worldwide and oil remains the dominant energy source. This scenario leads to a drastic increase in CO2 emission. The increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is leading to an increase of the mean global temperature of up to 6 °C until 2100 if we will use the same technologies like today. That will have a tremendous impact on our ecosystem. Therefore the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) recommends limiting the global temperature increase to a maximum of 2°C. In order to achieve this target the greenhouse gas emissions have to be reduced by 40% percent globally until 2050. In order to achieve that target taking into account the increase in world energy consumption the industrial countries should reduce their CO2 emissions between 60 and 80% until 2050. In order to go in that direction the European Commission set the target of 30% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions until 2020 in European Union. Within this context the improvement of energy efficiency and the implementation of CO2 capture and sequestration technologies in power plants and other large energy consuming industrial areas like steel and cement industry will contribute to achieve this target. Flameless combustion technology could play a very important role for achieving the CO2 reduction targets.


In power plant technology three options for CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) are under investigation include pre or during combustion capture, oxy-fuel combustion and post combustion capture. For all these technologies NOx emissions have to be as low as possible and obtain pure CO2 for sequestration. Flameless combustion could play an important role in air coal combustion technology in conjunction with post combustion capture application. It would be a big step forward in coal combustion if one could achieve the NOx limits without the implementation of SCR technology. In case of oxy-coal combustion flue gas recirculation is necessary in order to achieve similar temperatures like in air-coal combustion systems. The flameless combustion technology with its strong internal flue gas recirculation could play an important role in order to reduce the flame temperature simultaneously reducing NOx emissions. In case of pre or during combustion capture IGCC technology will be implemented. The hydrogen containing gas will be used in gas turbines. Flameless combustion technology can solve the problem of keeping the NOx emission limits from gas turbine thus offering simultaneous better fuel flexibility and better thermal field superior to that used in premixed combustion technologies.


In process heating technology colorless/flameless combustion could contribute to improve the energy efficiency. This has a simultaneous ecological and economical impact because of the general tendency with increasing energy prices. The fuel costs will continue to increase because of an expected increase in energy consumption by 50% during the next 25 years. Within this context the importance of rational use of energy is increasing from day to day. According to the actual energy prices (oil price over 90$ per barrel) the payback time for the implementation of latest energy saving technologies has been cut by 50% during the last 3 years in many applications. One of the best options for energy recovery from flue gas is preheating of the combustion air. For example in process heating between 30 and 70% of the energy consumption could be reduced with novel technologies. In order to prevent a strong increase of NOx emission in conjunction with increasing air preheating latest combustion technologies have to be employed. Within this context the new colorless or flameless combustion technology offers a big potential in order to avoid high NOx emission. Besides the NOx reduction potential the new colorless combustion has additional advantages of significant energy savings, uniform temperature distribution within the combustion zone, improvement of product quality, reduced noise emission and enhancement of heat transfer.


The advantages of this innovative combustion technology can be applied in different areas like process heating and power generation like boilers and gas turbines. The technology is applicable to all kind of fuels like natural gas, fuel oil and coal. Commercial burners are on the market for air-fuel and oxy-fuel technologies in process heating area and there are already very successful industrial applications. In gas turbine combustion and in coal combustion there are a lot of world wide research activities. One of the aims of this Course is to provide an overview about the state of the art of the implementation of flameless combustion in different industrial branches helping to transfer the successful results from process heating applications to coal and gas turbine combustion technologies. This Short Course on flameless combustion and energy saving technologies is particularly concerned with improving the energy and environmental performance of combustion equipment like fuel-fired high temperature furnaces, boilers, gas turbines and other combustion equipment. Consequently the Course will provide a greater understanding of the principles associated with the efficient application and operation of novel combustion and energy saving technologies. The Course provides an overview about the state of the art of the latest waste heat recovery technologies for preheating of the combustion air and will introduce the fundamentals of the flameless combustion technology. Additionally actual applications of the technology will be presented and the potential of the technology for the future will be highlighted. The Course will involve lectures and case studies. Delegates will be encouraged to take part in discussions on the topics covered in the sessions to ensure that they obtain maximum benefit from the Course and comprehensive handouts will be provided.





The Course is dedicated to people who are the decision makers in industry and politics, engineers and technicians from plant operating companies as well from engineering and consulting companies. The Course will be of value to staff who are responsible for the efficient management and operation of combustion equipment like industrial furnaces, gas turbines, boilers and other combustion equipment. It will also benefit personnel involved with technical marketing of combustion equipment and those working in associated fields such as fuel technology and energy management. Additional it will be also informative for people from research funding organization and politicians. Research staff working in relevant areas may also find the Course of value since it provides an overall grounding to understanding the behavior of flameless combustion technology.






1. Energy Saving and CO2 Capture

- Why energy saving and CO2 capture?

- Different strategies for energy saving and CO2 capture.

- Recovery of waste heat from flue gases for combustion air preheating.

- State of the art of different technologies.

- Demonstration of a new software tool for calculation of energy efficiency  



2. Fundamentals of Flameless Combustion

- Principle of standard combustion technologies.

- Fundamentals of the novel flameless combustion technology.

- Main difference of flameless combustion compared to standard combustion.

- Application of flameless combustion for gaseous, liquid and solid fuels.

- Air fuel and oxy-fuel application of flameless combustion.

- Reduction of emissions and potential for optimization of combustion equipment.

- State of the art of flameless combustion technologies.


3. Examples for Successful Applications in Process Heating

- Industrial furnaces with air-fuel combustion.

- Industrial furnaces with oxy-fuel combustion.

- Potential for low calorific gas and synthetic gas applications.


4. Flameless Combustion in Power Generation

- Transfer of synergy effects from process heating experience.

- Reduction potential of fuel NO formation.

- Application in air-coal fired boilers.

- Application in oxy-coal fired boilers.

- Recent developments for gas turbine combustors.





Prof. Ashwani Gupta is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA since 1983. Previously he was a Member of Research Staff at MIT and Sheffield University, UK. He received his Ph.D. and higher doctorate, D.Sc. from Sheffield University. His current research interests are in clean combustion, fuel reforming, energy conservation, propulsion and laser diagnostics. He has co-authored three books, edited 10 books, 7 book chapters and over 400 papers and delivered numerous Plenary and Keynote Lectures at International Conferences worldwide. He is a co-author of the popular book entitled "High Temperature Air Combustion: from energy conservation to pollution reduction" published by CRC Press, 2003 which is now in its third printing. He is a Fellow of AIAA and ASME and SAE and member of the Combustion Institute. He has received several honors and awards, including the AIAA Energy Systems award and Propellants and Combustion award, the ASME George Westinghouse Gold medal award, James Harry Potter award and James Landis award, and the University of Maryland President Kirwan research award and the College of Engineering research award. He has also received several best paper awards from AIAA and ASME. He has served as a consultant to number of companies and organizations worldwide.


Dr. Michael Flamme, internationally known for his work on gas-fired technology over a period of more than 20 years with Gaswärme-Institut. He has particular expertise and knowledge of high temperature industrial processes, combustion technologies for gas turbines and boilers and waste and biomass conversion to energy. He authored over 100 articles for publication in national and international journals and conference proceedings. His scientific achievements were rewarded by the Wilhelm Jost Medal of the German Section of the Pittsburgh Combustion Institute in 1993. He currently manages his own independent energy consultancy (FlammeConsulting) in Essen, Germany.





Robert Jasper, General Manager of the Jasper GmbH in Germany is working in the field of electrical-, and software-engineering. He is also appointed as a sworn expert for energy-engineering and heat generation plants and is authoring expert assessments for industrial customers. The Company Jasper GmbH is since more than 20 years worldwide a competent point of contact for EcoReg® rotating bed regenerators, PulsReg® and PulsReg® Central switching type regenerators and high temperature combustion systems. Jasper GmbH stands for economically and ecologically industrial furnaces and metal preparation.

Dr. Ambrogio Milani, consultant for WS Wärmeprozesstechnik GmbH, will speak about latest developments of the FLOX® combustion technology and of its application in industry. Dr Milani is a well known expert in applied combustion having been involved in R&TD for more than 35 years in the field of steelmaking and of industrial heating furnaces in particular.

Wlodzimierz Blasiak is a Professor at Division Energy and Furnace Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Since 2006, he has also joined Mobotec Europe AB. Professor Blasiak holds a PhD in applied thermodynamics and has performed research on combustion and heat and mass transfer processes in boilers and furnaces. For the past ten years, his main research subjects have been clean combustion processes particularly High Temperature Air Combustion and oxy-fuel combustion of gas and solid fuels like coal and biomass. Professor Blasiak has published more than hundred papers on these subjects. He has managed many research and industrial projects financed by Swedish and international agencies in cooperation with European and Japanese industries.

Hannes Stadler, Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer, RWTH Aachen University. Mr. Stadler studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University. After the diploma in 2004 he started his dissertation at the Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer inter alia being active in experimental work on oxycoal combustion. Current activities include research on flameless combustion in air and in oxyfuel atmospheres.

Bernd Gericke, Sales and Contract Department, MAN Turbo AG, Oberhausen. Previously he was in charge of design and development of power plants and boilers at Alstom (former EVT) and coal gasification, IGCC technology, combined heat and power plants, biomass gasification and ammonia and methanol plants at Lurgi/Lentjes. At MAN Turbo he works in the area of process integration, development of REKU and low Btu gas turbines. He is also engaged in the field of CCS technology. He has developed a concept for the integration of air separation units for oxy fuel fired power plants and the retrofitting of this technology to conventional power plants. He has published several papers in the area of power plant technologies.




Energy and Combustion Technology

Dr. Michael Flamme

Kunstwerkerstraße 161

45136 Essen, Germany




Phone: +49-(0)201-8159265

Mobile: +49-(0)173-5171172






Rua Gago Coutinho, 185-187

4435-034 Rio Tinto-Portugal

Tel: 351-22 9734624/ 22  9730747

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