Our energy process laboratory (EPL) is equipped with pilot-scale facilities to aid the study of clean energy conversion in fossil and biofuels, and different CO2 capture techniques in these systems.
The laboratory was opened in 1999 by Lord Sainsbury, UK Science Minister (at the time of opening). It is used to carry out basic and applied research in the fields of pulverised fuel combustion in both air-fired and oxy-fired modes, bubbling fluidised bed (BFB) combustion, gasification (downdraft and updraft) and lime looping carbon capture, as well as train our MSc and research students.
We are proud to work with a number of partners and clients including Alstom Power, Siemens Power Generation, Rolls-Royce, Doosan Babcock, the European Commission, Energy Technology Institute (ETI), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), RWE Npower, E.ON, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Caterpillar, EDF Energy and smaller companies through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
The facility helps us to address the needs of the energy and process industries. It encompasses the following equipment:
- Pulverised fuel combustion rig (oxy-fired and air-fired options);
- Bubbling fluidised bed combustor;
- Fluidised bed/updraft gasifier;
- Downdraft gasifier;
- Lime looping rig.
Summary of applications
- The pilot-scale facilities in the laboratory have been installed to aid the study of clean energy conversion in fossil and biofuels and different CO2 capture techniques in these systems. The facilities help us to address the needs of the energy and process industries.
- The pulverised fuel (PF) combustion rig (for ash deposition, corrosion, gas composition and temperature studies in oxy and air firing PF combustion); lime looping rig (for CO2 capture studies); and gasifiers (for fuel flexibility, hot gas cleaning, deposition, corrosion and syngas quality studies) aid the study of clean energy conversion in fossil, waste and biofuels. This helps us to address the needs of the power generation industries, for example, the PF combustor facility can be used as an oxy-combustor or as a conventional down-fired combustor.
- The OxyCAP project, funded and led by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and with E.ON as the main industrial partner, utilised an oxy-combustor in the laboratory. The same facility is also being used to evaluate operating conditions for higher temperature heat exchangers in advanced power plants for the EU NEXTGENPOWER project.
Using the facility
The laboratory's facilities have been developed under different industrial and energy research funding, including EPSRC, UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) etc. They are mainly part of UK PACT facilities and can be used by all research institutions in the UK.
Take a virtual 360° tour of our Energy Process Laboratory below.