A Future Named Hydrogen

Click the picture and see our own H2-technologies

CBOne's readiness for hydrogen combustion

It took us time to write this title. We needed time indeed to get convinced. We went through the process. We manipulated hydrogen combustion. Now we are sure: hydrogen is the future of combustion. A bright future.

Why did it take us so long?


Our very first contact with this fuel was a fail-safe ignition device powered with hydrogen, earlier in this century. It worked perfectly. But it has one inconvenience: one doesn’t see the flame by daylight. The senses are alarmed, especially due to the strong noise and the intense heat, but where is the flame? Only the UV sensor could tell that there is a flame for sure. This could be one answer to this question: hydrogen combustion is new and quite different from the combustion we are used to.

The upscaled green production of hydrogen is just a matter of time. The safety topic, which is the first priority, is doing good progress too. Public acceptance will rise as punctual daily uses get a grip. Hydrogen is a way to store the surplus from renewable energy resources. It has a formidable specific energy density (per mass) with a lower heat value (LHV) of 120MJ/kg. It is well available since it is the most present element in our universe. Producing, conditioning, and storing hydrogen is not trivial. But more and more technology bricks are appearing with time. Some of them are already established for half a century. To solve the storage problem of hydrogen due to its low density, rocketry relies on cryogenic methods – liquid hydrogen - which is also a good candidate for future aviation (volume-specific LHV of liquid hydrogen at -255C under one atmosphere: 0,20l/MJ). Ground transports have found an agreement on 700 bar tank technologies for ambient temperature storage. There, the volume-specific LHV is 0,14l/MJ. Other standards are about to take shape with hybrid storage in solid forms (porous materials) or liquids such as ammonia (NH3, also a promising non-carbon fuel).

Hydrogen has a formidable reaction rate too, and it burns on a much larger concentration range of air than conventional fuels. State-of-the-art burners can be used with low H2 concentration cuts in the fuel only, mixed with natural gas for instance. Flashback and combustion instabilities are barriers to the use of premixed combustion. Diffusion flames of 100% H2 are easy to produce, like a jet flame. However, these produce intense heat near the injection and a large amount of NOx due to the elevated flame temperatures met. This is why there is work to be done regarding the design of safe, robust, low-NOx, and flexible burners.

Based on our expertise in combustion, our four patented technologies on burner design, novel combustion methods, and instrumentation, we addressed in an innovative manner 100% H2-combustion in the frame of the Bluetifuel project. The first results are very encouraging, and we will report about these soon!

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