Vertical Combustor Research Facility

Oxy-Fuel Vertical Combustor Research Facility (VCRF)

Built in 1994, the 0.3 MWt (1 million BTU/hr) Vertical Combustor Research Facility (VCRF) is a highly modular and flexible state-of-the-art air- and/or oxygen-fired pilot-scale test platform. The facility is capable of firing natural gas, oil, coal, coal slurry, bitumen, and emulsion in a controlled environment. The effect of variable oxygen purity on the composition of the flue gas can be simulated. Heat flux and temperature can be measured through several ports, while entrained fly-ash can be withdrawn for analysis at all critical points. On-line flue gas analysis and advanced continuous emission monitors for mercury (total and species) are also available. With its advanced design, modularity, and state-of-the-art equipment, the VCRF has served as a robust platform for testing different fuels, innovative combustion processes, and flue gas cleaning technologies. The flue gas can be sent to a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and compression unit (CanCO2), enabling the capture and removal of CO2 from the flue gas stream. The combination of these technologies demonstrates an integrated approach to near-zero emissions combustion processes for clean fossil fuel power generation.

Capabilities and Features

CO2 Capture and Compression

The capture and storage or re-use of CO2 from the combustion of fossil fuels represents an opportunity to achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Oxy-fuel combustion processes result in a CO2-rich flue gas, which contains some H2O, a small concentration of O2, and other trace impurities. The relatively high concentration of CO2 permits the capture of CO2 directly through a series of compression and cooling processes. The advanced pilot-scale CO2 capture and compression unit (CanCO2) at CanmetENERGY is among the leading enabling technologies for the demonstration of integrated oxy-fuel carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems.

Multi-Pollutant Control

Multi-pollutant control processes for both air and oxy-fuel combustion modes are being developed that are very effective and result in significant reduction in NOx, SOx, and Hg emissions.

Advanced Flame Imaging System

CanmetENERGY’s proprietary advanced flame imaging system (AFIS) can capture live images of the flame and combustion zone of the VCRF. These images can be used to extract critical information about the performance of the combustion system through real-time processing and analysis.