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Dec 19, 2017 - Science and innovations
FEFU researchers develop microchannel radiation burners for the future of energy

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The new technology of gas combustion based on microcombustion is being developed by the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) researchers in cooperation with Russian and Japanese colleagues. Researchers suggest using microchannel radiation burners, which are more efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional open flame devices. Now the technology passes the stage of fundamental and applied research. The research group received a grant from the 'Research and Development in Priority Areas for the Development of the Russian Science and Technology Complex for 2014-2020' Federal Target Program.

According to Sergey Minaev, the Head of the International Combustion and Energy Laboratory (IC&E Lab) of the FEFU School of Engineering, microchannel radiation burners are a new generation of devices for small-scale power generation and industry. Their main difference is that the combustion of gas occurs inside the porous microchannel matrix, not in the bulk chamber. This allows one to effectively manage combustion and provide an economical and environmentally friendly production of thermal energy.

“The new technology has a lot of advantages and benefits,” said Sergey Minaev, D.Sc. (Phys. & Math.). “Microchannel matrix burners convert up to 70% of the heat from gas combustion to infrared radiation, which significantly reduces the size of power devices. The new burners do not have an open flame, are safe to use, allow the power to be regulated in wide ranges and burn very poor gas mixtures. Environmental performance meets the highest standards.”

The researcher pointed out that such burners are applicable everywhere from everyday life to industrial scale. Their use in industry will make it possible to reduce the cost of individual production by half. In addition, such devices are very promising for the Far North, where small power plants of up to 10 mW are needed.

The proposed technology is the result of 20 years of cooperation of Russian researchers with their colleagues from Japan. Now the research consortium is working on the project, which includes the Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), Tomsk and Novosibirsk State Universities, the Energy Dynamics Laboratory of the Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University, with the participation of Kaoru Maruta, an eminent scientist and honorary professor of FEFU.

“At this stage, we are faced with the task of finding the optimal shape of the burner, the size and profile of the channels, and making the necessary mathematical models. As a result, effective infrared radiation sources with power from 5 to 50 kW will be created and can be used in modular installations up to 5000 kW. A new method of burning gas will contribute to the development of future technologies,” Sergey Minaev added.

The International Combustion and Energy Laboratory was established in FEFU in 2014 as part of the megagrant program under the leadership of the Japanese scientist Kaoru Maruta. The FEFU IC&E Lab specializes in the development of environmentally friendly and efficient methods of burning hydrocarbon fuels and the development of combustion technologies based on the use of heat of combustion in the production of energy-intensive materials. One of the experiments of the FEFU researchers will be held at the International Space Station.