Award as “Low Carbon Model Company of the Year”
We know that one of the most important pillars of our company success is the constant improvement of existing products, and the development of new products and technical solutions. That is why Steinmüller Babcock Environment GmbH invests a considerable amount in research and development. Our processes in the areas of energy-from-waste and flue gas cleaning are tested continuously. It is not enough for us to be up-to-date at all times with the latest standard of technology, we also want to define this standard. To this end we use the specialist knowledge and competence of external experts and cooperate with universities, technical colleges, and other research and development institutes. Numerous patents attest to the innovative strength of Steinmüller Babcock Environment.
We present three projects to you here as examples of our research activities.
Today, high-performance computer systems enable the study of complex physical models that are derived from similarity theory. In combination with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) tools such as AspenPlus, ANSYS-Fluent, OpenFOAM, Silab, Xcos and our own developed interpretation programmes, we optimise new and existing solutions. We use these to analyse and simulate the exchange of pulses, heat and substances in multi-phase, fluidic reaction systems. We mainly use the technology to balance the through flow and incident flow in plants and plant components, to minimise losses in pressure, to optimise the distribution of particles and droplets, and for the targeted attainment of desired temperatures and substance concentrations. CFD is used by Steinmüller Babcock Environment in all technical departments, and the optimised solutions are realised directly in the plant.
Example 1: Simulation of anaerobic fermentation in a fermentation tank. The horizontal movement of the ferment from the material inlet opening around a partition to the outlet prevents short circuit flows. In the vertical positions, the ferment is fully mixed in a loop flow (“airlift pump effect”).
Example 2: Simulation of axial fans in a flue gas cleaning plant. The simulation allows, among other things, the optimised positioning of the baffle plates, and a homogenous incident flow and consistent speeds in the duct.
Example 3: Simulation of the introduction of a solid absorbent into a flue gas duct, optimised positioning of the dispersion elements of the DIVA mixer (DIVA® = Dispersing Vane Element) for reduced lime consumption.
Within the framework of an interdisciplinary research project, we are working on a carbonate looping method for separating climate-damaging carbon dioxide from flue gas in power stations. The project is being carried out in close cooperation with our customers, suppliers and industry partners, as well as with renowned German universities and colleges. The carbonate looping method comprises two process steps. In the first, the CO2 is separated from the flue gases in a fluidised bed reactor (carbonator) by means of a reaction with calcium. Then the CO2 is separated from the limestone in a second fluidised bed reactor (calciner) and compressed. The calcium is used multiple times in this process, as it is operated in a loop. Only small quantities must be discharged from the process and replaced by fresh limestone. By participating in this and other research projects, Steinmüller Babcock Environment supports the climate policy objective of a CO2-free power plant.
Although the proportion of regenerative systems in electricity production is constantly growing, fossil-fuelled power plants will still have to safeguard the supply of electricity in the future. These will be modern power plants in the future, which will satisfy the highest requirements in terms of flexible operation, efficiency, and emissions minimisation. Steam parameters of > 700° C / 350 bar ensure a high level of efficiency, while emissions values that are reduced by 90% guarantee the lowest environmental impact. That is the goal of the “Power Plant 4 Future”. The development and conception of these ultra-modern power plants is being carried out in a research alliance with participants from the areas of energy supply, boiler and plant construction, automation and information technology, as well as with component suppliers, renowned research institutes, and a safety testing and certification agency.