The experimental programme is conceptually divided into two phases:
Work to establish an oxy-coal or oxy-natural gas capability on Fo.Sper was completed in 2011. In addition to new oxygen, RFG and coal supply systems, the furnace is now fitted with sealed access ports that are vitally important to reducing air ingress when operating under oxy-combustion conditions. Fo.Sper is now one of the few experimental rigs allowing access to Oxy/RFG/Coal and Oxy/RFG/Gas flames at a pilot scale of 2 to 3 MW.
During 2011, Fo.Sper was used to run oxy-combustion tests for ENEL and other companies and produced four weeks of campaigns at 3MWth with oxy-gas and oxy-coal. The tests also covered new ground, contributing practical experience on firing solid fuels in oxy/Recycled Flue Gas (RFG) atmospheres: firstly to collect deposits for corrosion studies within an OXY/RFG/Coal flame – part of the EC co-funded OXYCORR2 project.
For the EC co-funded RELCOM project which kicked off very late in 2011, work began on the task of providing a baseline for oxy-coal burner scale-up criteria starting with documenting the characteristics of the IFRF’s Aerodynamic Air Staged Burner (AASB). Further tasks were to characterise three coals in oxy combustion environment with the IPFR (Isothermal Plug Flow Reactor), and develop and validate sub-models. A 3 MW (Fo.Sper) campaign took place in the last months of 2012 and again in November 2013.