Company News

March 5 - 2019

OPRA Pushing Limits With Innovation Through Collaboration: EnCat Project

OPRA Turbines continue pushing limits through innovation. Currently we are participating in the EnCat project (Enhanced catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass for maximum production of high-quality biofuels). For this project a consortium with partners from various countries including universities (University of TwenteKTH), research institutes (RISEICHPW) and companies (OPRAAluchaBios Bioenergiesysteme, HIG Polska) work together in this research project to improve the fast pyrolysis process and applications.

Fast pyrolysis of biomass is one of the most promising ways to directly generate liquid fuels from biomass. However, the produced pyrolysis oil may have several major drawbacks which suppress its application for power and heat generation or transportation fuels. The EnCat project investigates a new concept for the production of high quality bio-oil. The advanced production process including a catalytic pyrolysis process is used to produce a bio-oil which can be used for example for combined heat and power generation in a gas turbine. OPRA is mainly involved in the work package related to application of bio-oil in gas turbine combustors. The aim is to further optimize the 3C combustor and fuel injector to operate on pyrolysis oil for a wider load range, whereby a fuel nozzle will be developed. Various combustor tests are performed in OPRA’s state-of-the are combustion test cell with several types of pyrolysis oil. The effect of the bio-oil on hot flow path components will also be evaluated by experiments.

The work of OPRA is supported by various project partners. For example, a PDEng student working at the University of Twente performs numerical combustion simulations and advanced fuel spray measurements. These activities will provide new insights and help OPRA to further optimize our combustion systems.

Finally, a holistic approach is taken where the OP16 will be evaluated in a techno-economic and sustainability analysis to determine the economic performance and environmental impact when operating on catalytic pyrolysis oil.