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Modified dual fuel engine for cupola furnace gas tested
29.03.2012

Generating electricity and heat from lean gas

Foundries in the metal industry produce considerable amount of lean gases. These have a low heating value and until now have only been used for generating heat. Cupola furnaces, which use large amounts of coking coal for melting metal, produce a combustible process gas called cupola furnace gas. In a research project, a dual fuel engine was modified in order to enable this gas to be used for the combined production of electricity and heat. The new BINE Projektinfo brochure “Generating electricity and heat from lean gas” (02/2012) provides an overview of the findings so far.

The plant for generating combined heat and power using cupola furnace gas was developed and tested in cooperation together with VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH and a gas engine manufacturer. The project was aimed at increasing the energy efficiency while simultaneously ensuring the reliability of the furnace operation and the quality of the foundry products. Whereas the total efficiency of the process was around 35% with pure heat generation, around 80% can be achieved through combined electricity and heat generation. The researchers tested the system in a test rig and drew up concepts for incorporating it in various methods of operation.

Around 3,000 TJ of energy from cupola furnace gas are still insufficiently utilised in Germany each year. The combined generation of electricity and heat using this gas offers several advantages: energy costs and CO2 emissions are reduced and the cost effectiveness is increased.

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Generating electricity and heat from lean gas

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