Project Actions

  1. A1. Mock-up design, construction & testing

    The Mock-up

    A proper mock-up pilot steam-methane reforming module (SMR) will be designed and constructed. It allows the fine-tuning of construction and operating parameters, in a scale of 1 m3 utilizing a maximum of about 15 Sm3/h of natural gas, within an existing lab-scale glass furnace regenerative combustion test section. 

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    A proper mock-up pilot steam-methane reforming module (SMR) will be designed and constructed. It allows the fine-tuning of construction and operating parameters, in a scale of 1 m3 utilizing a maximum of about 15 Sm3/h of natural gas, within an existing lab-scale glass furnace regenerative combustion test section.

    The experimental campaign on such a Mock-up is important to test different catalyst in a small scale section, while detecting the impacts on the combustion and on the catalyst itself, and confirm the design criteria that will be transferred to the Pilot installation and to have a database of operating points.

     

    The following tests will be performed:

    • different types of catalysts
    • different test conditions
    • laser detection of the flame geometry and a waste gas analysis by Laser Induced Fluorescence section (LIF)
    • gas analyses by Multipoint Continuous Monitoring approach

     

    All the main operating variables can be measured and controlled in the Mock-up in a much easier way than in the real plant; this aspect is very important to have reference operating conditions that can be used to advance the design criteria and to develop and validate numerical modelling techniques, based on CFD, to support the design of such systems.

    The knowledge collected from these tests will be used in the design of the prototype (Action C1).

  2. A2. Selection of the plant for pilot installation

    This first stage is accompanied by close interactions with the glass producer that will host the prototype, to discuss and agree on location, select the furnace to be upgraded in compliance with the project timing and the technical requirements.
  3. C1. Pilot system design

    The action

    This action is aimed at designing and construction of the pilot SMR module and correlated combustion system and waste gas duct.

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    This action is aimed at designing and construction of the pilot SMR module and correlated combustion system and waste gas duct. The SMR module will be designed for the conversion of a stream of natural gas (about 60 Nm3/h) into a hydrogen rich syngas, using the heat available from a part of the waste gas stream, generated from combustion of natural gas in the glass melting furnace. The catalysts defined at (C2) will be upscaled for their use in the system, and the CFD models (C6) will guide the combustion system design.

    The design of the prototype will consider:

    • Results from mock-up tests (catalyst selection, S/C and operating conditions, combustion etc.)
    • General data from the selected plant (utilities, local regulations, climatic data, etc)
    • Lay-out of existing furnace
    • Available areas for the installation
    • Interconnecting with existing piping, ducting, equipment, instruments, etc

    The LIFE SUGAR prototype will be designed including the following main components:

    1. A Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) module for the conversion of natural gas with steam over an active catalyst into a H2-rich syngas, using the heat available from waste gas
    2. A combustion system suitable for integration of natural gas and syngas in the glass melting furnace.
    3. A refractory duct and valves necessary to deviate a part of the waste gas stream from the glass melting furnace and send it for heat recovery to the SMR module.
    4. Auxiliaries necessary for the interconnecting of the prototype unit with the glass melting plant.

    The overall prototype will be designed to provide a representative operation of the LIFE SUGAR concept at a reduced capacity (~1/5 of full scale) and allow the future scale-up in one step to full industrial scale.

    The prototype will be designed according to safety regulations and standards applicable for the selected plant site.

  4. C2. Catalyst definition

    Catalyst

    Catalysts (on the market and previously developed by JM) will be assessed to select the most suitable for our project for mock-up and pilot tests , to minimize the steam to carbon ratio , and trialled in the mock-up.

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    Catalysts (on the market and previously developed by JM) will be assessed to select the most suitable for our project for mock-up and pilot tests , to minimize the steam to carbon ratio , and trialled in the mock-up.

    Criteria for catalyst comparison will include:

    • conversion of natural gas via steam reforming,
    • resistance to deactivation by coke formation,
    • durability, which could be impacted due to operating oxidation during start up or shut down.
  5. C3. Pilot system construction

    The SMR module

    The SMR module, complete of the necessary auxiliary equipment (stream preheaters, steam generator, NG desulfurizer, etc) will be installed on a real hybrid regenerative glass furnace producing hollow glass.

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    The SMR module, complete of the necessary auxiliary equipment (stream preheaters, steam generator, NG desulfurizer, etc) will be installed on a real hybrid regenerative glass furnace producing hollow glass. The prototype with a capacity of 1/5 of full scale will reformate a NG flow of ~60 Nm3/h, and will produce about 90 Nm3/h of rich H2 syngas having a H2 concentration close to 40%. The hot syngas stream, will be sent to the combustion system to be burnt in addition to NG in the furnace. The overall system will demonstrate in real environment the feasibility of 10÷15% of savings in energy consumption and reduction of CO2 emissions. This dimension offers a representative operation of the LIFE SUGAR concept that allows the future scale-up in one step to full industrial scale. Will be designed and implemented the necessary modification of the furnace heat recovery system that allow the installation of the steam reformer, and of the combustion system that will lead the this way generated H2 to the furnace, performed eventual adjustments following trials of Action C4.
  6. C4. Pilot system tests in real environment

    The test

    In this Action the LIFE SUGAR SMR, the syn-gas burners and the LIFE SUGAR system as a whole will be thoroughly tested and characterized in various service life conditions, to evaluate their behaviour and capabilities as a function of process variables and set-up parameters, to fine-tune their operation, and to assess their optimized performance level.

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    In this Action the LIFE SUGAR SMR, the syn-gas burners and the LIFE SUGAR system as a whole will be thoroughly tested and characterized in various service life conditions, to evaluate their behaviour and capabilities as a function of process variables and set-up parameters, to fine-tune their operation, and to assess their optimized performance level.

    Extensive tests and measurements will be performed while the system is running during shorter and longer timeframes and eventually operating parameters are adjusted.

    • the sampling and analysis campaigns using Multipoint Continuous Monitoring method;
    • energy balance;
    • IR-thermographic surveys of the external surfaces;
    • endoscopic inspections inside the melting furnace using a visible light detector and an infra-red for thermal imaging.

    Test of the prototype will provide a representative operation of the LIFE SUGAR concept at a reduced capacity (~1/5 of full scale) and allow the future scale-up in one step to full industrial scale.

    The trial data will feed the CFD model and the life cycle assessment, and provide the needed knowledge for the assessment of exploitation, replication and transferability opportunities (C5).

  7. C5. Exploitation, replication and transfer

    Techno-economic assessment

    Action C5 is dedicated to techno-economic assessment of the LIFE SUGAR concept at full industrial scale with an estimation of overall costs and technical and environmental impacts and to transferability of the developed technology, this regards.

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    Action C5 is dedicated to techno-economic assessment of the LIFE SUGAR concept at full industrial scale with an estimation of overall costs and technical and environmental impacts and to transferability of the developed technology, this regards:
    • Development of final system design upscaled to an average glass furnace size for its immediate introduction to hollow glass market.
    • A business plan to launch LIFE SUGAR technology on the glass market and a Replication and transferability plan to foster the wider use of other LIFE SUGAR outcomes.
    • An assessment of potential applications in the flat glass sector (side-port furnaces) and identify possible applications, with necessary adaptations, of the same or similar heat recovery concepts in other CO2 emitting sectors, such as cement production, steel production, oil refining processes, petrochemical processes.
    • Study and identification of possible solutions for a further improvement of the LIFE SUGAR concept, by assessing the possibility of integrating the recovery of CO2 from waste gas and/or syngas.
    • Applications of the same ranges and catalyst in other hydrogen generation units.
    • The numerical model for simulation of combustion of reformed gas will gain a high level of transferability to any other process and industrial application involving combustion of reformed gas or of standard natural gas with hydrogen addition.
  8. C6. CFD: system and flames

    Computational Fluid Dynamics

    Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models will be developed and tested, in support of the combustion system design and development.

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    Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models will be developed and tested, in support of the combustion system design and development.

    The action is transversal to all the other actions in the project: first simulation strategy will be applied to experimental Mock-up configuration, then the approach will be used to simulate the combustion process in the Prototype installation and finally used to understand the effects of the syngas combustion on the glass furnace combustion process.

    The numerical models developed and validated during the project will constitute a set of tools that form the base for the main design and optimization of future Centauro + LIFE SUGAR configurations.

  9. D1. Monitoring project performance (LIFE Key indicators)

    LIFE Key indicators

    The LIFE Key project level indicators will be inserted in the dynamic online database.

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    The LIFE Key project level indicators will be inserted in the dynamic online database:

    • Environmental performance indicators.
    • Communication and dissemination related performance indicators.
    • Economic indicators.

    Information on progress regarding these performance indicators will be submitted with the Progress Report, the Mid-term Report and the Final Report.

  10. D2. Environmental and socio-economic impact analysis

    Life Cycle Assessment

    A Life Cycle Assessment will be carried out according to the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 methodology on the glass produced by the furnace where the LIFE SUGAR steam-methane reforming system will be installed. Following aspects will be taken into account.

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    A Life Cycle Assessment will be carried out according to the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 methodology on the glass produced by the furnace where the LIFE SUGAR steam-methane reforming system will be installed. Following aspects will be taken into account:

    • All batch materials.
    • All aspects of the production process (energy consumption, emissions, internal recycling of rejected containers, etc).
    • The performance during life-time (energy recovery).
    • The performances of the recycling process (recovered materials and energy).

    It will comprise the following:

    • An explicit statement of the goal and scope.
    • Life cycle inventory (LCI): An inventory of flows from and to nature for a product system is created, including inputs of energy and raw materials, and releases to air, land and water.
    • Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA): evaluating the significance of potential environmental impacts.
    • Interpretation with conclusions and recommendations.

    In Socio-economic impact assessment the following issues will be assessed considering a successful market introduction of the LIFE SUGAR system:

    • Impact on partners’ economic benefits and employment.
    • Impact on glass producers economic benefits.
    • Employment opportunities in the glass sector.
    • Impact on glass production employees’ safety and working conditions.
    • Impact on local population around the furnaces equipped with LIFE SUGAR reforming system.
  11. E1. Communication, dissemination and networking

    The technical work

    The technical work is accompanied by a wide set of activities to communicate the environmental problem addressed and the results achieved amongst glass producers and experts, hydrogen experts, policy influencers and citizens.

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    The technical work is accompanied by a wide set of activities to communicate the environmental problem addressed and the results achieved amongst glass producers and experts, hydrogen experts, policy influencers and citizens.

    They include a project website and outreach materials, conference presentations, publications, project events and networking with other projects and within expert groups and associations.

    Awareness of the novelty amongst all major glass producers and experts worldwide, within the community of hydrogen technologies, and amongst policy influencers involved in future BREF update.

  12. F1. Project Management

    The aim of this action is to provide efficient management processes to achieve project’s objectives in a time and cost efficient manner, while ensuring quality control and risk management.
partners2
StaraGlass
KT Kinetics Technology
JM Johnson Matthey
SSV Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro
Universita di Genova
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