Press Releases

Lowering Costs by Improving Efficiencies in Biomass Fueled Boilers: New Materials and Coatings to Reduce Corrosion

Start of project BELENUS to lower bioenergy CAPEX and OPEX

The project is funded by the European Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and is coordinated by Complutense University of Madrid.

Thursday, 30th May 2019

Figure 1. Steven’s Croft biomass power station.

Biomass conversion performance into heat and power presents some concerns in terms of technological development and energy efficiency. Severe corrosion is considered the most serious problem in biomass plants. The BENELUS consortium brings together 14 partners from 6 different countries: 2 from Germany (EIFER and Vallourec), 4 from Spain (UCM, INTA, CIEMAT and Zabala), 2 from Sweden (Chalmers and SMT), 1 utility from France (EDF) linked to EIFER, 2 from UK (Uniper and Doosan), 1 from Finland (VTT) and 1 from Portugal).

The primary goal of BELENUS is to lower bioenergy CAPEX and OPEX by an average of 1.03% and 40% respectively. This will be addressed by preventing or mitigating corrosion as the main limiting factor, through a holistic approach to prevent corrosion in the boiler, in particular in superheater tubes: a) new surface engineering: biomass corrosion highly resistant coatings on high creep strength materials; b) new strategies of welding and bending for coated tubes improving the quality and efficiency of boiler components; and c) new online corrosion monitoring for biomass CHP plants. In addition, the BELENUS solution will impact on other Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) parameters improving plant efficiency (up to 42%) by raising the operating temperature, increasing a 5% the operational hours of the plant and the plant life time by 5 years, and further reducing the fuel expenditure by allowing the use of different types of lower cost biomass.

The project is funded by the European Commission with a total budget of EUR 4,991,323.75. It is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Francisco Javier Pérez Trujillo from Complutense University of Madrid, UCM, and will be carried out by a consortium that provides a multi-stakeholder approach, from the laboratory to the plant, as clearly emerge from the participants list, covering the whole value chain of biomass fuel plants. This synergy allows a direct transfer of results in TRL5 to be obtained in BELENUS as technical base to go further to higher TRL into commercial biomass electric power plants within less than 5 years.

The 48-month long project was officially launched in Madrid in a kick-off meeting (1st-2nd April, 2019) which was attended by all project partners and by the officer from the European Commission. This first meeting served to discuss the organizational structure of the project and the technical content, and to plan the activities to be performed in the next 6 months.

Figure 3. Official start of the project BELENUS on 1st and 2nd of April, 2019 in Madrid.