Improving fuel economy, clean energy - MethaNull

With the help of the FFG in 2012 and of the AWS in 2013, CBOne started the MethaNull programme (Towards zero Methane emissions in the atmosphere). This technology aims to burn gases with low heat contents under enhanced operation and safety conditions.

Our intention was to provide within a 3-years frame a portable technology based on pulse combustion.

We did achieve our goals.



Perfect burn of gases with low heat contents


According to the latest survey published by the International Energy Agency [IEA, Key World Energy Statistics 2012], the world''s current annual primary energy supply is estimated with 12.7 Gtoe (16.9 TW). 81% of these are provided by conventional combustion of oil, coal and natural gas. This value is extended to 91% when considering combustion of biomass and waste.

According to the data provided by the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), the global amount of gas flared - or more simply said, of wasted hydrocarbon resources - corresponds to 30% of the annual consumption of natural gas of the EU. It also contributes to 1,2% of the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.

We know that natural resources are shortening. We are also aware of the exhaust emissions and their direct impact on the environment. Renewable energies are rising, and decentralised energy production goes towards a more rational use and less dependency. However, renewable energies need time before they catch-up and eventually achieve a significant level.

This significant level definitely lies on the side of combustion sciences. More efficiency, less emissions, more security and operability, more elegance. This is advanced combustion management. This is what the engineering office Combustion Bay One offers.

Combustion Bay One (CBOne) is a start-up situated in Graz, Austria. It was founded 2012  by Fabrice Giuliani, a former academic. The motivation is the strong belief that the rising curve in energy can be inflected with an improvement of combustion technology. 

A 5% reduction in fuel costs related to an even higher reduction in greenhouse gases is a goal within reach. This is what CBOne intends to achieve. A technology that saves fuel costs in a significant way.

This is the reason why CBOne started the MethaNull programme (Towards zero Methane emissions in the atmosphere). This technology aimed first to burn gases with low heat contents under enhanced operation and safety conditions. Then it was extended to any continuous firing method, including gas turbines. The method is based on precisely tuned pulse combustion, or on-demand pulse combustion. Benefits are a better mix, a slightly accelerated reaction rate resulting in a higher thermal efficiency, and a better burn. Heat extraction is therefore made possible, combined to a lower environmental impact. The industry that will use this technology will reduce its energy costs by making a better use of the energy resources it has at hand, and it will significantly reduce its impact on the environment.


The MethaNull technology precisely tunes combustion even when using aggressive gases (hot flow, elevated moisture, with impurities, strongly fluctuating gas contents). Target values versus conventional are a pilot gas reduction equivalent to 10% of the total heat at part load conditions and 4% at design, with a combustion efficiency near to 100% (no soot). The concept is presented above: a pilot flame can be excited on-demand by a pulsation device. Both pilot burner and actuator are mounted in-line. On its turn, the resonant pilot flame drives a similar dynamic in the same flame. 


We could establish in a laboratory that the part load least operating point can see its consumption reduced by 8 to 10% in comparison to conventional. These are the result as shown in paper GT2015-42377. A direct application: one industrial process needs to keep the oven warm during the week end - and saves fuel and money with this technology. 

We could also establish that under some conditions it is possible to consume less and to pollute less at the same time.  These results are shown in paper GT2017-64429. A direct application would be a shorter heat-up time delay for machines operating often in start-and-stop modus, with least CO peaks at cold start.

We have demonstrated the operating capacity of the MethaNull project. The results shown were not optimised, so that there is still room for improvement. We have the technology (patent deposit AT516424 A1 2016-05-15, Giuliani F., Vorrichtung und Verfahren zum Betreiben einer Flamme). We are willing to provide the engineering towards industrialisation and deployment.

For a better air we breathe.


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