Events Programme
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024
  • 10:00 - 11:45
  • Memo
  • Diotallevi 2 Room South Hall
  • Italian
  • organized by ENEA

The topic of hydrogen is of increasingly significant, concrete, and unprecedented interest today, as it is seen as an essential element for decarbonization and the energy transition. Applications requiring high-temperature heat have brought attention back to combustion technologies, which have been side-lined by environmental policies for some time. It is important to note that new investments in research and development for the combustion of natural gas mixtures with varying hydrogen content should be viewed not as competition with renewable energy sources but in synergy with them to achieve the common goal of decarbonization. This is true both in the field of thermo-electric generation and in the hard-toabate industrial sector.
Thermo-electric generation with gas turbines has been one of the main providers of grid flexibility for several years and is continuing to play a significant role in stabilization and backup support for non-programmable renewables. Furthermore, it is one of the immediate solutions for reducing CO2 emissions. For these capabilities, gas turbines continue to play a fundamental role in electricity generation, even during the energy transition period and in a future scenario characterized by an increasing percentage of non-programmable renewable sources, albeit with an increasingly intermittent operational profile and fewer equivalent annual hours. In this context, the application of post-combustion capture technologies to natural gas-fueled gas turbines would be unsustainable both from a technical and economic perspective. To fuel them with mixtures of natural gas with a growing and variable hydrogen content, it is necessary to develop new "fuel-flexible" combustion technologies capable of maintaining low NOx emissions without efficiency losses. However, despite the significant efforts and investments by various manufacturers in recent years, the actual fuel flexibility of the machines, i.e., their stable, efficient, clean, reliable, and safe operation from 100% natural gas to 100% hydrogen with variable hydrogen content, remains a challenge to overcome due to technological issues in the combustion system.
In the hard-to-abate sector, specifically in the chemical, refining, glass, cement, steel, and ceramics industries, there are various applications that require combustion. In this context, the devices used are furnaces and boilers operating at low pressure, typically atmospheric, which significantly reduces combustion issues compared to gas turbine burners. The challenges to address instead concern the potential impact of the combustion atmosphere on the process (for example, significant reduction in radiative energy transfer is critical to ensure melting and high temperatures in liquid baths, as in the case of glass production) and even more on the product itself (for example, moisture removal is crucial for the quality of ceramics and lime).
The event will illustrate the state of the art of combustion of mixtures with varying hydrogen content, highlighting the challenges and critical issues to overcome, with particular emphasis on gas turbines and furnaces for the steel industry. It will also be a moment for sharing results, projects, and initiatives by important actors in both sectors.

President of Session
Eugenio Giacomazzi, ENEA - TERIN/PSU/IPSE Laboratory Head, Roma (IT)


Practical experience and projects

Advancing Hydrogen Combustion in Gas Turbines: Enabling CO2-Free Power Generation on Demand
Andrea Ciani, Hydrogen Combustion Technology Manager ANSALDO ENERGIA, Baden (CH)

Development of a Hydrogen Fueled Gas Turbine Combustion System
Egidio Pucci, Turbine Combustion Manager BAKER HUGHES, Firenze (IT)

Sustainable Routes Towards the Carbon Neutrality from the Perspective of a Thermal Process Technology Provider
Massimiliano Fantuzzi, Vice President, R&D Dept. DANIELI Centro Combustion SpA, Genova (IT)

Tenova Stepwise Approach to the Decarbonization of Steel Heating Processes - The Challenges of Hydrogen Combustion
Alessandro Della Rocca, Business Development Manager, TENOVA, Genova (IT)