Combustion provider goes green to boost projects
The ever-increasing need for industry to be greener and reduce emissions has led to more projects being awarded to local oil and gas burner technology provider Combustion Technology.
“The ability to supply numerous gas-fired burners and steam boiler plants to the South African market has been made possible through the company’s partnership with industrial burner manufacturer Limpsfield Engineering, in England,” says Combustion Technology MD Grant Renecle.
Limpsfield Engineering’s innovation in terms of emissions reduction has enabled Combustion Technology to guarantee that oxygen will be maintained at levels of less than 3% and carbon monoxide at less than 10 ppm throughout the complete burner firing range.
Renecle believes in this capability to such an extent that the company offers a written guarantee with all gas burner installations: “We provide a written guarantee for a whole project that, if we do not meet these very specific emissions standards, we reimburse”.
He highlights the recent coal-to-gas conversion project that Combustion Technology completed for macro brewer South African Breweries (SAB) in Rosslyn, Pretoria. The project involved the supplying 25 t and 5 t steam boilers and Limpsfield Gas burners as well as the conversion of two 20 t twin furnace coal-fired boilers to fire natural gas with the Limpsfield burners.
The project came about when SAB, a subsidiary of global beverage company Anheuser-Busch InBev, embarked on a programme to reduce its carbon emissions and carbon footprint globally. The reduction in energy at the plant was notable while the coal boiler efficiency increased significantly from about 70% to consistently running between about 80% and 83% on natural gas (NG). Production energy use improved from between 175-154MJ/hℓ to 105-99MJ/hℓ on NG.
“Cost is a factor and NG not only delivers the efficiency but is also cheaper overall,” highlights Renecle.
Further projects completed by Combustion Technology locally include the supply of a 40 t water tube boiler with a Limpsfield burner complete with Autoflame Combustion Management Systems, and three parameter emissions trim system to a client involved in the chemicals industry.
Meanwhile, Renecle suggests that environmental concerns have had a slower offtake in Africa than in the rest of the world – where reducing carbon emissions is a definite business imperative – and that the Carbon Tax Bill, which came into effect last month will affect South Africa quite adversely.
He adds that making a good-quality boiler is no longer the most discernible aspect in terms of sales, but rather the energy efficiency of the boiler and burner combination.
Renecle mentions that gas offers very tangible savings. In many cases, this can mean a return on investment (ROI) of less than 18 months, depending on the fuel being used such as coal or various types of oil.
In some cases, the ROI could very well be under six months when one considers the “real value-added benefits”, he adds.
Renecle highlights an example of a coal boiler struggling to recover quickly enough from or to maintain a fixed set point. A client had to discard a large proportion of product as the boiler did not dry to the required moisture content percentage, owing to the boiler’s pressure ranging from 6 bar to 9 bar. When the client changed to NG and, subsequently, installed the Limpsfield burner with an Autoflame system the burner had a constant 9.2 bar steam pressure without any wasted product. All the added benefits lead to a ROI worth pursuing, he adds.
“If one changes to the offering of a Limpsfield burner with the Autoflame system, savings of between eight and 12% are easily achievable,” concludes Renecle.