JERA studying co-firing attributes of ammonia in burners at coal-fired Japanese power station

Image credit Wikimedia Commons

Japanese power generator JERA and partner IHI Corp. have started to utilize a small amount of fuel ammonia in another one of its units at a coal-fired power plant.

JERA and IHI are demonstrating small volume utilization in Unit 5 at JERA’s Hekinan Thermal Power Station. The purpose of the project is to develop a co-firing burner to be used for large-volume utilization of fuel ammonia at Hekinan Unit 4.

Replacing 2 of the 48 burners at Unit 5 with test burners, during the roughly 6 months from now to March 2022 JERA and IHI will examine the effects of different burner materials and combustion times to identify the required conditions for co-firing burners.

Ammonia molecule model

The approximately 200 tons of ammonia to be used will be supplied to the test burners at Unit 5 from denitration tanks on the premises of the power station.

Large volume utilization is considered 20 percent of heating value. JERA and IHI are working to achieve that utilization by fiscal 2024 as part of the move to CO2 reduction for thermal power stations.

Hekinan Thermal Power Station was built by Chubu Electric and commissioned in 1991. JERA is a joint venture between Chubu and TEPCO Fuel and Power and has been operating the coal-fired plant since 2019, according to reports.

The plant is considered by some to be one of the world’s most polluting power generation stations and was ranked 10th worse in that category by a Carbon Monitoring for Action report.

IHI is focused on promoting development of hydrogen and ammonia utilization technologies, while JERA is pursuing a long-term goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Ammonia is carbon-free in itself but, like hydrogen, how it is produced determines the CO2 impact of emissions.

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