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"The Role of Large Engines Operating with Alternative Fuels in Power Generation"

Dr. G. Herdin, M. Wagner, M. Schneider, F. Gruber, D. Chvatal, S. Chvatal GE Jenbacher

In its current state of development the gas engine represents the ideal work horse for the electrification of various special gases. No other concept (e.g. the microturbine for small power outputs as well as the gas turbines) has a similar potential for electrification efficiency, specific investments costs as well as the resultant life cycle costs. The intensive developmental activity carried out prior to the boom in the market has contributed substantially to GEJs success in this business sector, since perfected technologies are available. These factors have led to the development of turnover reflected in the approximately 35 % of present applications at GEJ earmarked for special gas applications. A further driving force in this market segment is the commitment of several EU countries and the ongoing CO2 trade to the "renewable energy sources". Regarding the alternative fuels it is possible to differentiate between their origin (natural occurrence and gases resulting from various processes) and their purposeful production (biogases, pyrolysis gases, among others). In both cases GEJ utilizes its own software tools to be able to provide suitability and the resultantly achievable power output for the offer phase and for feasibility studies. These possibilities allow very exact details on minimizing the risk of investors. An extreme example would be the utilization of a LHV (low heating value) gas resulting from the production of formaldehyde from methanol (Krems Chemie) where the heating value of the gas amounts to only 1.67 MJ/Sm. The use of this gas is still something quite new worldwide. The plant has been running practically failure-free since the optimization phase and with an availability rating of over 98.5 %. Another example is the recycling of a pyrolysis gas resulting from the gasification of domestic waste (Thermoselect); in this case the challenge lies in the strongly fluctuating composition of the gas (an H2 content of 15 to max. 45 %). Further successful examples are the demonstration plants in Gssing (wood gas), the utilization of flare gases as well as the currently very popular use of biogas produced in agricultural plants. From the viewpoint of the oil industry the development of this market segment definitely has a rising significance; the challenge here is then intensive cooperation with the engine manufacturer to be able to offer final consumers optimal products. Generally, however, a similar approach must be maintained in terms of development as is the case with conventional fuels. Engine oil will always remain the blood of the engine - through modern possibilities of analysis trends problems can already be foreseen at an early stage, thus allowing measures to be implemented to prevent greater damage to the respective plant.

Present Market Situation

An analysis of the gas engine market shows that conventional fuels remain practically constant. In the areas of special gases, however, the market volume is increasing continuously. One of the reasons for this lies in increasing energy costs and the resultant situation of being able to produce power and heat also with these resources already at competitive costs. On the other hand, the general political conditions for the use of gases falling into the class of special gases (biogas, wood gas, pit gas, etc.) are also better. These applications become attractive for the investor mainly because of good supply conditions (e.g. Germany EEG - EEG = Renewable Energy Sources Act) combined with high investment security (long guaranteed supply tariffs 20 years), as well as the possibility for large-scale plants to take part in CO2 trading. This approach is presently very attractive for pit gas applications as an aid in financing. Considered holistically, this market development has led to a considerable turnover percentage of special gas engines of about 35 % at GE Jenbacher. GE Jenbacher began to concern itself intensively with special gases quite early and therefore presently has a strong position in this market segment. Indeed, a high degree of detailed knowledge and corresponding experience must be had by engine suppliers regarding the utilization of special gases in gas engines; otherwise the projects are doomed to failure.

Characteristic values of gas and requirements regarding the quality for use in a gas engine Gas engines are presently powered mainly with natural gas. But the use of renewable energy sources like landfill gas or sewage gas with low thermal heat values represents a growing market for gas engines all over the world. Figure 1 shows usable fuels for gas engines.

Fuels for Power Stations

Alternative liquids Ethanol, RME Natural gas Propane Biological gases (Landfill gases, Sewage treatment gases) Synthetic gases (Wood gas, Pyrolysis gases)

Figure 1: Fuels for Gas engines Gases, i.e. their constituents, have different properties that can be assessed through their characteristic values, such as methane number, heat value and laminar flame speed, to mention only a few. To be able to achieve an ideal degree of energy conversion, these values must be considered when dealing with the engine (see Figure 2).



Density LHV [kg/Nm [kWh/Nm] ] 0.0899 0.717 1.25 0.798 2.996 9.971 3.51 10.14

Methane number 0 100 75 80

laminar flame speed [cm/s] 302 41 24 41

Hydrogen Methane Carbon monoxide Natural gas (example)

H2 CH4 CO CH4 = 88.5 %C2H6 = 4.7 % C3H8 = 1.6 %C4H10 = 0.2 %N2 = 5 % CH4 = 65 %CO2 = 35 % H2= 7 %; CO = 7%CnH = 5 %; N2 = 56 % CO2 = 15 %

Biogas(example) Wood gas (example)

1.158 1.258

6.5 1.38


27 15

Figure 2: Characteristics of different gases Low Heating value (LHV) and thermal value (HHV) The low heating value and thermal value indicate the energy content of a gas. The former can be differentiated from the latter only through the heat of vaporization of the water resulting from combustion. With regard to the heating value after combustion, the water is in liquid form after liberating its condensation heat. Figure 3 shows a logarithmic presentation of the thermal value of different gases already used in GE Jenbacher gas engines - Figure 4 shows examples of the methane number of different gases.

Figure 3: Thermal value, heating value of different gases

120 100 80 60

methane number [ ]

43,5 40 20 0 35

10,5 0






Figure 4: Methane number of different gases Methane number The determining parameter for the assessment of the knock resistance of burnable gases is the methane number. It is comparable with the octane number for petrol operation and indicates the percentile methane volume ratio of a methanehydrogen mixture which, in a test engine and under defined conditions, indicates the same knock resistance as the gas to be tested. For example, if natural gas has a methane number of 85, this signifies that under specific engine conditions this natural gas will have the same knock resistance as a mixture of 85 % methane and 15 % hydrogen. Laminar flame speed Laminar flame speed is the speed at which the oxidation, respectively reaction between the combustible constituents of the gas and oxygen on the surface of the inner zone of the flame takes place. It is dependent on the air ratio Lambda and attains its maximum shortly before Lambda = 1. Figure 5 shows the laminar flame speed for natural gas, landfill gas and wood gas under atmospheric conditions (gas composition according to Figure 2).
120 100
coke gas lam. flame speed [cm/s]

80 60
biogas pyrolysis gas natural gas

40 20 0 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2

A/F ratio [ ] wood gas

Figure 5: Laminar flame speed

The laminar flame speed reflects the impact of the inertial components (N2, CO2) on combustion and is for GE Jenbacher the main criterion of special gases as to whether they can be used in gas engines or not. Physical properties The methane number and the heating value are the determining physical values for standard gases like natural gas, LNG, LPG or biogas. For low concentrated gases, like wood gas, the laminar flame speed is the decisive criterion indicating whether it is possible for the air/gas mixture to be completely burned up in the engine. The methane number is the crucial physical value for assessing the knock resistance of a burnable gas. The methane number requirement, respectively the knock resistance of the engine, is influenced by constructional and operational factors. In order to be able to guarantee fault-free engine operation, it is necessary to keep the pollutant concentrations in the fuel gas within the prescribed limits. The following table lists the limiting values that GE Energy prescribes for their Jenbacher engines (Figure 6). All quantities refer to the volume of the fuel gas in a standard state (STP = 0 C; 1.013 bar abs.) and to a thermal value of 10 kWh/m. without catalyst Dust: Max. grain size (m): Max. amount (mg/10kWh) Max. sulfur compoundscalculated as H2S (mg/10kWh) Max. halogen content (Cl + 2 x sum F mg/10kWh) without limitation of guarantee with limitation of guarantee no guarantee Max. relative silica content [ppm x l/(kW x hrs] without limitation of guarantee with limitation of guarantee (for wearing of exhaust valves, bushes and piston rings) Max. ammonia content (mg/10kWh) Max. residual oil content in fuel gas (mg/10kWh) Max. gas pressure fluctuation Max. LHV fluctuation Figure 6: Extract "Technical Instruction TI 1000-0300" 3 50 700 < 100100 400 > 400 with catalyst 3 50 200 0 0 0

< 0.02 > 0.02

0 0

55 5 10mbar/sec 1%/30sec

55 5

Measures for reducing emissions

Due to increasingly more stringent governmental regulations regarding delimitation of emissions, GE Jenbacher is working intensively on methods to reduce further pollutants in engine exhaust gas. There are fundamentally two options (Figure 7) to reduce the emission of pollutants from internal combustion engines, namely secondary treatment of exhaust

gas and measures implemented inside the engine itself. At GE Jenbacher mainly lean-burn combustion is utilized. The control concept is based on physical parameters (LEANOX control system Figure 8).

12000 10000 8000 6000

CO, NOX, THC [mg/Nm]

lean engine stoichiometric engine CO NOX THC

4000 2000 0 0.9 1.1 1.3





Figure 7: NOx, CO and HC emission dependent on air/fuel ratio Lambda


gas mixing system


engine turbocharger intercooler LEANOXcontroler p T P


Figure 8: GE Jenbacher LEANOX system

Today the majority of gas engines are operated as lean-burn engines, depending on the required emission limit with or without catalytic secondary exhaust gas treatment. In particular, applications with special gases GE Jenbacher uses only the concept of lean-burn combustion.

Measures implemented inside the engine Lean-burn concept for reduction of NOx Through operation with a large amount of excess air (lean mixture) the combustion temperature is reduced and hence NOx formation in the combustion chamber is strongly reduced. The German TA-Luft limit of NOx (< 500 mg/Nm) can be complied with reliably and economically by the GE Jenbacher lean-burn engines. NOx emission can be reduced by making the mixture even leaner. This means, however, putting up with a loss of efficiency, a reduction in output (and increased maintenance) to 250 mg/Nm. A greater reduction of the emission is not possible at this time without secondary treatment of the exhaust gas for natural gas. The lean-burn concept was pursued in Jenbach and the LEANOX lean-burn (Figure 8) combustion process developed - a process guaranteeing constant compliance with prescribed NOx emission limits throughout the entire operating time of the engine. LEANOX control system The air excess ratio Lambda () is linked with thermodynamic engine- and gas-specific parameters. Both constant and variable values are contained in this relationship. Lambda can therefore be represented as a function of * engine output * mixture pressure (= boost pressure) and * mixture temperature after the intercooler These three values are measured and transmitted to the LEANOX control system. The signal output by the LEANOX controller moves the adjusting cone of the air/gas mixer into the desired position, so that the required air ratio is achieved (see Figure 8). The main advantage of the patented LEANOX system is the secure and reliable measurement of the input signals for fuel/air mixture control. There are no sensors in the hot zones like the combustion chamber or in the exhaust gas. The mixture pressure and temperature sensors are working under low stress, stable environmental conditions and free of deposits and aging. This allows secure and reliable mixture control. The exact mixture control guarantees not only accurate emission control, it also controls the whole combustion process and protects the engine against high thermal or mechanical stress. Reduction of CO by measures inside the engine The most common way to achieve the TA-Luft limit for CO (< 650 mg/Nm) with biogas is the implementation of internal measures. For example, reducing the compression ratio, adjusting a later ignition point (closer to top dead center - TDC) and water cooled exhaust gas manifolds will help to reduce the CO emissions without secondary exhaust gas treatment. Secondary treatment of exhaust gas for the reduction of CO To achieve the TA-Luft limit for CO the use of an oxidation catalyst is common for natural gas or propane. Several pollutants in the biogas do not allow the reduction of CO by an oxidation catalyst without pre-treatment. These pollutants cause deposits or are toxic to the oxidation catalyst and reduces its effectiveness in a short time. But the reduction of CO by an oxidation catalyst allows higher efficiency and higher specific output compared to the measures taken inside the engine.

GE Jenbacher is following this philosophy (oxidation catalyst and gas pre-treatment) for sewage gas and the first pilot plants have been running with active carbon gas cleaning systems very successfully for several years. One important side effect is the avoidance of silicon deposits inside the engine, which can cause problems with the utilisation of biogas in gas engines. With fuels like landfill gas gases, which are contaminated by changing catalytic poisons, the conversion of CO and HC into CO2 and H2O can be achieved by the GE Jenbacher thermal aftertreatment system (CL.AIR system). The CL.AIR system is an installation for the thermal aftertreatment of engine exhaust gases. In heating up the exhaust gas in the CL.AIR system to a temperature of about 800 C the hydrocarbons (CH4 and NMHC) as well as the CO with the residual oxygen in the exhaust gas are oxidized to form steam and CO2. The nitrogen oxides (NOx) remain unchanged. With the help of the CL.AIR system it is also possible for the first time to meet the limit value prescribed by the former TA-Luft for formaldehyde (HCHO < 20 mg/Nm). Until now, no manufacturer of engines for sewage- and waste dump gas plants has been able to guarantee this value without secondary exhaust gas treatment.

Examples of utilization of special gases

GE Jenbacher has been working since the middle of the 80s on the utilization of special gases like pyrolysis gas or wood gas in gas engines as well. With the target of sufficient performance output and an appropriate cost/benefit relation, a turbo-charged gas-Otto lean-burn engine has to be used. This requires a certain maximum gas temperature with a low humidity and a low content of heavy hydrocarbon compounds (e.g. tars). Beside the problems of fluctuating gas qualities and the contamination of the gas, one of the challenges is still to fulfil the international emission standards (e.g. TA Luft standard) regarding these applications. To increase the basic know-how and understanding of the utilization of these kinds of gases, GE Jenbacher participated in several Joule research projects, as well as some demonstration projects and also joined some other European and national projects. Next to these activities, commercial gas engine applications for H2 gases (e.g.: coke gas, weak gas containing H2, etc.) have been available since 1995 and are in successful operation. All the experience regarding the utilization of these special gases with H2 will be directly applied to problems with the utilization of wood gas and pyrolysis gas in gas engines. The following examples give a short overview of some commercial special gas applications and some pilot plants operating with pyrolysis gas or wood gas. Gases from the chemical industry; Krems-Chemie/Austria Formaldehyde is required for the production of artificial resin which is used throughout the woodworking, paper and rubber industries. As a by-product of this manufacturing process, approx. 12,000 m/hr of weak, combustible gas (LHV=0.54 kWh/m at 18% H2 and 82% N2) is in turn used to power GE Jenbacher cogeneration modules which produce 2.3 MW of electricity and additional process steam. The scheme is shown in Figure 9; the engine room is indicated in Figure 10.

Krems-Chemie, Austria Process gas: H2 16 - 21% CH4 1.5% CO 1.5% CO2 5% N2 71 - 76% LHV = 0.5-0.6 kWh/Sm

Figure 9: Scheme of the Krems-Chemie plant (Austria)

Krems-Chemie / A 4 x JGS 320 GS S.LC Pel = 2,352 kW 1,400 kg/h sat. steam (11.5 bar/186C) Process gas: H2 16 - 21% 1.5% CH4 CO 1.5% 5% CO2 71 - 76% N2 LHV = 0.5-0.6 kWh/Sm

In commercial operation for more than 70,000 oh (12/2004)

Figure 10: Gas engines (4 x J320GS) At the beginning of the 90s the chemical company Krems-Chemie started to investigate the possibility of utilizing H2-lean gas, a by-product of formaldehyde production, in gas engines. Due to the extremely low thermal value, none of the engine manufacturers Krems-Chemie contacted could give a positive reply. Subsequently, the idea was considered to burn the lean gas in a steam boiler and generate electricity with a steam turbine. Shortly before realization of this concept Krems-Chemie contacted GE Jenbacher to once again review the possibility of using the gas in a gas engine.

Based on its experience with special gases gained in the past, especially with wood gas, GE Jenbacher was in the position to use the gas in a gas engine and offered a customized concept. A feasibility study of both concepts put the steam boiler solution out of the running. Approximately 20% less investment costs plus higher electrical efficiency easily compensated the gas engines deficit in steam production. The amortization time was reduced from the originally planned 3 years to 2 years, and due to the short delivery time of the gas engines the installation was completed in May 1996 instead of the end of 1996. Since spring 1996 each of the 4 JMS 320 GS-S.LC cogeneration modules generates 588 kW of electrical output. From the exhaust gas 1,300 kg/h saturated steam at 10 bar is produced in two steam boilers and the feed water is pre-heated by the engine jacket water heat. The additionally required amount of steam is produced in a steam boiler fired with the same lean gas. Assuming that the operating time of the units is 8,000 h/a, the companys import of electricity can be reduced by 75%. In addition to the economic benefit, this installation has benefits for the environment as well. As a result of the lean-burn concept the NOx emission is below 10 mg/Nm, whereas 100 mg/Nm is the guaranteed value. This "technically" clean gas allows CO emissions of below 100 mg/Nm (guaranteed value CO <150 mg/Nm) by using an oxidation catalyst. The plant has been in commercial operation since its commissioning (> 70,000 operating hours by the end of 2005 - each engine). Coke gas: Profusa SA/Spain: 12 x J316GS; Sama/Spain: 2 x J620GS As a waste product of coke production the company Profusa SA in Bilbao offers a gas with high hydrogen content. Since August 1995 coke gas has been burned in 12 JGS 316 GS-S.L gas engine gen-sets and converted into maximum 6.5 MWel (Figure 11). The special engine design as well as the appropriate gas mixing equipment make it possible to operate the engines on 100% coke gas, 100% natural gas or on a coke gas/natural gas mixture (60%/40%). The exhaust gas is used partly for waste water treatment and partly for steam production. At night the units operate on 100% coke gas, during the day 40% natural gas is added to the coke gas to increase the output by 15%. As an option, the engines can operate on 100% natural gas in case of grid failure or emergency conditions. The coke gas of Profusa SA consists of approx. 55% H2, approx. 30 % CH4, and 5% CO, the rest is CO2 and N2. The scheme of the plant is shown in Figure 12; the engine arrangement of the total of 12*J 316 engines is shown in Figure 13.

Profusa / Spain 12 x JMS 316 GS-S/N.L Electrical output 7,164 kW Coke gas: H2 55% CH4 30% CO 5% CO2 5% N2 5% LHV = 4.8 kWh/Sm
Figure 11: The Profusa SA coke gas plant

Profusa / Spain 12 x JMS 316 GS-S/N.L Electrical output 7,164 kW Coke gas: H2 55% CH4 30% CO 5% CO2 5% N2 5% LHV = 4.8 kWh/Sm

Figure 12: Scheme of the coke gas plant The NOx emission in the case of coke gas- as well as coke gas/natural gas operation is below 300 mg/Nm(dry exhaust gas, 5% O2). For operation with pure natural gas TA Luft limits can be achieved. The plant has been in commercial operation since its commissioning (> 70,000 oh; at the end of 2005).

Profusa / Spain 12 x JMS 316 GS-S/N.L Electrical output 7,164 kW Coke gas: H2 55% 30% CH4 CO 5% CO2 5% 5% N2 LHV = 4.8 kWh/Sm

In commercial operation for more than 70,000 oh (12/2004)

Figure 13: The Profusa SA coke gas plant in Spain (12 x J316GS) As well, in Spain two engines of the type J620GS are in operation with coke gas with an H2 content of up to 70Vol. %. Figure 14 shows the successful Sama plant. This plant is equipped with a gas mixing concept that allows switching from

natural gas to coke gas under load or blending of any mixture. The plant has been in commercial operation for more than 20,000 operating hours.

SAMA / Spain 2 x JMS 620 GS-S/N.L Electrical output 2 x 1,500 kW Coke gas: H2 60-70% CH4 25% CO 5% CO2 5% LHV = 4.8 kWh/Sm

Figure 14: The Sama coke gas plant in Spain (2 x J620GS) Pyrolysis gas - Thermoselect Plant in Fondotoce/Italy (Figure 15, scheme Figure 16) With the Thermoselect process it is possible to utilize the most varied kinds of waste, for example domestic and industrial waste, shredded material, bulky refuse, sewage sludge, contaminated soil as well as landfill material. By means of compaction of the waste, removal of air, homogenization and degassing at a temperature of more than 600 C in a degassing channel, gasification with pure oxygen as the medium, as well as the removal of the mineral and metal portions in a smelting process, the process represents a closed system for waste treatment. The plant functions autonomously on the energy it produces.

Thermoselect Fondotoce/Italy 1 x JMS 612 GS SN.L Pyrolysis gas: H2 20 - 40% CO 35 - 40% CO2 25 - 35% N2 2 - 5% LHV = 2 2.5 kWh/Sm

Figure 15; The Fondotoce pilot plant (1 x J612GS)

Thermoselect/Italy 1 x JMS 612 GS SN.L Pyrolysis gas: 20 - 40% H2 CO 35 - 40% 25 - 35% CO2 2 - 5% N2 LHV = 1.5 - 2 kWh/Sm

Figure 16: The scheme of the Thermoselect process

The synthetic gas produced in the high-temperature reactor, which is shock-cooled and purified in the course of a number of steps, supplies the plant on the one hand with the necessary energy and on the other hand a GE Jenbacher gas engine transforms the gas directly into electrical energy. The first pilot plant with a GE Jenbacher J 612 GS engine operated successfully from the end of 1993 until 1997 in Fondodoce/Italy. Another pilot plant with a J620GS engine has been in operation since October 2001 in Chiba/Japan. The first commercial plant was commissioned at the end of February 2003 as well in Japan at Mutsu with two engines of the type J616GS (Figure 17, 18). 20,000 oh have already been achieved. Each engine at the Mutsu plant has an electrical output of 1200 kWel and can be switched from propane to natural gas under load.

Thermoselect Mutsu/JP 2 x JGS 616 GS SN.L

Pyrolysis gas: 20 - 40% H2 CO 35 - 40% 25 - 35% CO2 2 - 5% N2 LHV = 2.0 2.5 kWh/Sm Commissioned: 2/2003 > 19,000 oh (10/2005)

Figure 17: The Mutsu gas engines (2 x J616GS)

Figure 18: The Thermoselect plant at Mutsu/Japan Meanwhile, 4 (status 3/06) commercial Thermoselect plants with a total of 11 Jenbacher gas engines are in operation in Japan. The particular difficulty in the utilization of synthesis gases stemming from domestic waste is the high variability in the gas composition. Reliable engine operation requires a perfectly functioning engine management system that reacts immediately to the influences of the gas composition. Figure 19 provides an example of the gas composition of a measuring period of one of the Thermoselect plants. In the time segment shown, the heating value changes about 15 %, the H2 content in the range of 3 %. These conditions result under so-called stable conditions. The different type of waste at the Fondotoce pilot plant indicated a fluctuation of the heating value of +/- 30 % (within a charging interval of 7 minutes) as well as a fluctuation range for H2 of 15 to 46 %. In addition, the available amount of gas fluctuated between 50 and 100 % of the possible rated load of the engine.

50 45 40 Content [Vol %] 35 30 25 20 15 10 0 10

H2 maximum

H2 minimum



30 Time [minutes]




Figure 19: Variation over time of the gas composition of pyrolysis gas from domestic waste

Woodgas plant: Harbore Volund updraft gasifier - 2 x J320GS

Already in 1988 the company Babcock & Wilcox Vlund Aps decided to take an active part in the development of gasifiers in order to create a gasification principle with the possibility of achieving a stable and continuous gas production gasifying fuel with a moisture content of up to 50 % producing gas for use in a gas engine attaining a high degree of automation for the total plant

To achieve these goals, the updraft gasification principle was chosen because of the built-in drying zone. The major advantages of an updraft gasifier are its simplicity, the capability to gasify very wet fuels, high charcoal conversion and internal heat exchange, leading to low gas exit temperature and high gasification efficiency. A disadvantage is the large amount of tar produced. Therefore gas cleaning is required to make the gas usable for gas engines. The principal function is shown in Figure 20.

Harbore/Dk 2 x JMS 320 GS S.L Updraft gasifier Electrical output 2 x 765 kW Wood gas: 15-18% H2 3-5% CH4 CO 25-28% CO2 7-10% 50-55% N2 LHV = 1.9 kWh/Sm

Figure 20: Scheme of an updraft gasifier After several years of development work the first gasification plant was put into commercial operation in 1993 at the Harbore district heating plant in Denmark. Today it supplies heat to approx. 560 heat consumers and to the municipal buildings of the town (Figure 21, 22).

Harbore/Denmark 2 x JMS 320 GS S.L electrical output 2 x 765 kW Wood gas: H2 15 - 18% CH4 3 - 5% CO 25 - 28% CO2 7 - 10% N2 50 - 55% LHV 6.84 MJ/Sm

Pilot plant: total approx. 32,000 oh (02/2006) increased output (bmep = 13bar) since April 2001

Figure 21: The Harbore wood gas CHP plant

Harbore/Dk 2 x JMS 320 GS S.L Electrical output 2 x 650 kW Wood gas: H2 15-18% 3-5% CH4 CO 25-28% 7-10% CO2 50-55% N2 LHV = 1.9 kWh/Sm Pilot plant: total approx. 32,000 oh (02/2006) increased output (bmep = 13bar) since April 2001

Figure 22: Gas engines (2 x J320GS) The gasifier has an output of 4 MW (thermal) and the gas has been burned over the last years in a low-NOx gas burner built onto a 4 MW hot water boiler. The primary fuel is wood chips, but successful tests have been made at the plant with other types of fuel, e.g. chunk-wood, bark and waste wood. The produced gas consists of approx. 1518 % hydrogen, 2528 % carbon monoxide, 710 % carbon dioxide, 35 % methane and the rest is nitrogen and water. The scheme of the Harbore plant is shown in Figure 23. During the summer of 1996, a program to optimize and develop the gasifier was successfully completed. Subsequent research and development activities have concentrated on gas cleaning.

Today the gas is cleaned by means of a complex system of gas scrubbers, heat exchangers and electrostatic filters before it is fed into the gas engines. In the beginning of the year 2000 two Jenbacher JMS 320 GS-S.L gas engine modules were installed and the district heating plant was converted into a CHP plant. A significant part of the work was related to the conditioning of the gasifier producer gas for use in gas engines and a reliable solution based on gas cooling, wet electrostatic precipitation and a new technology for cleaning the resulting tar-contaminated water demonstrated. The producer gas is cooled using the district heating grid to about 45C, during which a considerable amount of water/tar condensate and also aerosols (microscopic water/tar droplets) is released. The aerosols are subsequently removed from the gas stream by means of a wet electrostatic precipitator. After this treatment the gas is clean and can be used for the gas engines (both tar and dust content are below 25 mg/Nm3). The gas is boosted to a slightly higher pressure to accomplish engine inlet pressure regulation by means of a traditional gas train to slightly below atmospheric pressure.

Harbore/Dk 2 x JMS 320 GS S.L Fixed bed updraft gasifier Electrical output 2 x 765 kW Wood gas: H2 15 - 18% 3 - 5% CH4 CO 25 - 28% 7 - 10% CO2 50 - 55% N2 LHV 6.84 MJ/Sm

Figure 23: Flow diagram of the Harbore district heating plant Each unit has an electrical output of 648 kW and a thermal output of 883 kW. With these highly efficient gas engines the wood gas can be converted with an overall efficiency of up to 90% into electricity and heat, depending on the heating water temperature level. The engines are operated as lean-burn LEANOX-controlled gas engines with an air access ratio of approximately 1.6. Therefore low NOx emissions can be obtained. Approx. 28,000 operating hours of the 2 engines were successfully achieved by the end of 2005. Frequent internal inspections of the vital parts of the engines have shown no sign of tar deposits or other abnormalities up to now. The Gssing wood gas plant (fluidized-bed steam gasification - 1 x J620GS) In order to make the generation of electricity from biomass possible also in small, decentralized power stations, another new type of power station was realized for the first time in Gssing/Austria. The Gssing biomass power station supplies 4500 kW of heat for district heating and up to 2000 kW of electricity from 1760 kg of wood/h. In order to realize this project from the basic idea to the finished product, the partners Repotec, as the design engineer firm, scientists from the Vienna University of Technology and the Gssing District Heating

Company formed the reNet network and developed this new, well-planned system of cogeneration on the basis of biomass gasification. Figure 24 shows the general scheme of the plant and the engine room is shown in Figure 25.

Gas scrubber Gas filter Gas cooler

Gas blower

Gas engine


Air Exhaust gas heat exchanger

Gas flow back Combustion chamber



Gas & Oilburner


Flue gas cooler

Flue gas filter




Flue Gas Cooler

Steam Bed ash Fly ash

Figure 24: The Gssing fluidized-bed steam gasifier - scheme

Fluidized bed steam gasification Gasifier: 8 MW th Wood gas: N2 3% CH4 10 % CO2 23 % H2 40 % CO 24 % LHV 10.95 MJ/Sm3

commissioned 9/01 operating hours >20,000 (3/06)

Figure 25: The J620GS gas engine The heart of the power station is the fluidized-bed steam gasifier. During gasification the biomass is gasified at approximately 850 C under supply of steam. Using steam instead of air as the medium of gasification results in a nitrogen-free, low-tar product gas with a high heating value. A part of the remaining coke is transported to the

combustion chamber via a circulating bed material (sand), which effects heat transfer as well. The heat dissipating to the bed material is used for the gasification process. The flue gas is carried off separately, and the contained heat is recovered for the district heating system. For the operation of the gas engine, the product gas must be cooled and cleaned. The heat from gas cooling is used again for district heating. The dust is removed in a fabric filter. After this procedure a scrubber reduces the concentrations of tar, ammonia and acidic gas components. Due to this special procedure it is possible to feed all residual substances back into the process. As a consequence, neither solid wastes like charcoal nor waste water result during gas cleaning. The gas engine converts the chemical energy of the product gas into electrical energy. Beyond that, the waste heat of the engine is used as well for the supply of the district heating system. The overall electrical efficiency is 25-28%, the total plant efficiency (electricity and heat) is more than 85%. The commissioning of the gasifier started in September 2001; the commissioning of the J620GS GE Jenbacher gas engine was in February 2002. GE Jenbacher`s aim with this pilot phase was the optimization of the gas engine for this gas with a relatively high H2 content (30-40%) with a new type of gas mixing system, the gas supply to the engine and special test applications for the reduction of the CO emissions by means of an oxidation catalyst. During the first test trial run the engine achieved the expected output and the preliminary results of the catalyst test run were positive. Meanwhile, the plant is in commercial operation and it achieved nearly 20,000 operating hours by the end of 2005. Aceralia converter gas (12 x J620GS) The company GENESA (Generaciones Especiales, S.A.), a developer of renewable and CHP power systems that in recent years has installed numerous GE Jenbacher gas engines, proposed GE Jenbacher engines to Aceralia as a solution for taking the advantage out of the Linz Donawitz steel production process (LD converter gas) and made it possible to realize this plant as one of GE Energys largest gas engines projects in Europe by buying and installing a GE Jenbacher J620GS test engine with an electrical output of 1.7 megawatt, and subsequently another 11 similar engines through Ingemas, for Aceralias plant operation (Figure 26).

Aceralia / Spain 12 x JMS 620 GS-S/N.L Electrical output 18,700 kW 12,140 kWth Converter (LD) gas: CO 60-75% 1% H2 N2 13% 13,5% CO2 LHV = 2.4 kWh/Sm Approx. 10,000 oh (11/2005)
Figure 26: The engine Room at Aceralia

Converter gas is a by-product of the steel production process and consists mainly of CO (> 60 Vol. %) and traces of H2; the rest is inert gas (N2 and CO2). The LD process produces steel by injecting oxygen via a water-cooled oxygen lance into the pig iron. The carbon in the pig iron is thus converted to CO that can then be used in reciprocating gas engines after being cleaned and cooled down. The LD process is one of the most common methods to produce raw steel (approximately 60% of the worlds raw steel production). In October 2003 a GE Jenbacher test engine of the type J620 GS was installed to gain initial basic experience with this type of gas and to optimize the combustion process. The test engine was equipped with all necessary test bench equipment to analyze the complete combustion process and the behavior of the engine regarding changing fuel quality. The experience from these first test runs was then analyzed and used to further optimize the test engine. Piston shape and compression ratio and turbocharger tuning were attuned to each other to achieve maximum mechanical efficiency and an optimized exhaust gas temperature for future steam production. Additionally, a comprehensive safety concept had to be developed to avoid danger coming from the toxic CO content of the fuel gas. After a test period of approximately 3,000 hrs with several engine set-ups, a further 11 engines were delivered based on the results of the test engine and now produce a total power output of 20.4 MWel (Figure 27).

Aceralia / Spain 12 x JMS 620 GS-S/N.L Electrical output 18,700 kW 12,140 kWth Converter (LD) gas: CO 60-75% 1% H2 N2 13% 13,5% CO2 LHV = 2.4 kWh/Sm

Figure 27: The gas engine building at Aceralia (12 x J620GS) Three of the twelve modules can burn either LD converter gas or natural gas. Alternative natural gas operation is made possible by a separate gas train that is in parallel to the four LD converter gas trains. The GE Jenbacher gas engines operate with separate parameter settings to ensure optimal operation despite the huge heating value difference between the gases. The natural gas ensures operation in the case of a reduction in the fuel supply from the steelworks. The commissioning procedure was finished in September 2004 and the modules now deliver approximately 20 MWel and 12 MWth output. By the end of 2005 the engines had already achieved 11,000 operating hours in commercial operation.

Oil field gases/flare gas An application also worthy of mention is the utilization of the gases arising near the wellheads of oil fields. Earlier, these gases (associated gases) were simply burned off (flared) and when flying over such areas the flares were visible at a great distance. At GE Jenbacher these qualities were still classified as natural gases, but the resultant conditions were a challenge for plant planning and the required control systems. The major problem with these types of gases is their constantly changing composition. Alongside the changing geological conditions in the deposit, the seasonal conditions also have a strong influence on the physical characteristics of a gas. Figure 28 provides the example of the situation of a well in summer and winter regarding the parameters MN and heating value.

80 70


72 9.8

14 Lower Heat Value [kWh/Nm] 12 10 8

Methane Number

60 50 40 30 20 10 0


6 4 2 0 winter

Figure 28: Comparison of gas quality in summer and winter MN/LHV In the case of winter operation, the condensing out of a part of the higher hydrocarbons causes more favorable conditions for the gas engine than in summer operation. While the methane number of 72 in winter is not very good, the 32 during summer operation is dramatically worse. Without perfect engine control (knocking sensors) this location would inevitably have dramatic problems. The different heating value (summer = 12.8 kWh/Nm and winter = 9.8 kWh/Nm) is compensated by the LEANOX control concept without any observable effects. Well gases are also usually loaded with additional pollutants such as H2S, chlorine components and further bringers of problems. Depending on how big the portion of pollutants is, the gas must be cleaned or utilization is effectively possible through perfect oil management on the part of operating costs. As an example, Figure 29 shows a plant in Russia.

Kancheyneftegas 3 x JGC 320 GS-S.L Electrical output: 3,039 kW Commissioned: October 2003

Figure 29: The associated (flare) gas plant in Kanchey, Russia Biogas applications Biogas plants - scheme Regarding biogas plants, the usual type is one utilizing liquid manure energetically with the use of co-substrates as an additional supplier of energy. Figure 30 provides an overview of the construction of an entire biogas plant. The process cycle that the biomass runs through begins in a pre-mixing unit directly before the fermenter. The bacterial strains become active in the fermenter and produce the biogas; then the gas is conveyed via a desulphurization unit to a storage vessel that usually functions at the same time as a settling tank.

manure co-substrate biogas


biogas gas storage intermediate storage site condensate trap sulfur washer


condensate trap biogas

gas cooler


choise sample capture

heating unit

air water fermentation fully fermented substrate

pressure increase

gasramp gengine

Figure 30: The system elements of a biogas plant

Then the biogas undergoes a final stage of conditioning (humidity, pressure, etc.) before being conveyed to the gas engine or other consumers. In Austria the potential of installed output is about 350 MW. In Germany the potential is about 10 times greater. Depending on the intensity of use of such biogas plants (e.g. brownfield management) and the utilization of future potentials especially in terms of plant cultivation, between 6 and 9 % of the Austrian electricity requirement could be produced in this manner. The great advantage of this potential solution lies in the adequate dimensioning of the gas storage tank in production of electricity in compliance with the network load requirement (decentralized provision of peak current). Dependent on conditions for the delivery of electricity (green power) and the available heating network, such biogas plants are already economically feasible with power outputs from 200 kWel upwards. A plant of this type with 2*500 kWel output is shown in Figure 31 and Figure 32 (500 kW container).

Figure 31: The reNet demonstration plant Rohkraft/Pfiel in Reidling (Lower Austria)

Figure 32: View of a plant section 500 kWel container unit

This plant deserves special mention because it is undergoing a monitoring process in a research network; many optimization details are being handled through cooperation at university level (reNet - The challenge of such applications is specifically to adapt the biological process of anaerobic digestion in gas production exactly to the gas requirement of the gas engine. Despite the complexity, availability ratings far above 98 % are attainable with professional operation. The above-mentioned plant has, in spite of parallel-running research projects that mean interference in its operation, an availability of 98.4 %; the peak value of a similar plant (500 kWel Wenninger plant) was 98.7 % in 2005. Per year the Rohkraft plant utilizes the energy in the liquid manure of 5000 fattened pigs, 3000 tons of corn silage and 5500 tons of grain corn. The production of electricity in the financial year 2005 amounted to the notable value of 8.6 GWh.

Coalmine (coalbed) gas The utilization of the methane accompanying the extraction of coal has proved to be a remarkable resource. According to studies carried out by the OECD/IEA, 6-7 % of global CH4 emissions come directly from hard coal mining. In figures this means the inconceivable amount of 50.2 billion m CH4/year entering the atmosphere unburned and thus intensifying the greenhouse effect alongside natural sources (tundras, rice cultivation, etc.). At the present time only about 6 % are utilized; the greatest part goes to waste for energy utilization. The combustion in engines is sensible especially on account of the high greenhouse gas potential. Depending on the literature source, methane has a higher influence than CO2 by a factor of 21 to 28. That is to say, the market has also developed well regarding the utilization of coal bed methane. The challenge for application in engines is dilution with air penetrating the tunnel systems and ventilation wells, which, depending on the plant, can be subject to short-term changes in seconds. In this regard, Figure 33 shows a gas analysis as the starting basis (worst quality); depending on the management of the tunnel system the heating value can rise in the short term by more than the factor 3, but also vice versa.

100 80 60 40 20 0

gas content [%]

CH4 CO2 CxHy N2 O2

low LHV gas (2.216 kWh/Sm)

high LHV gas (6.74 kWh/Sm)

Figure 33: Variation in composition of a coalmine gas (best/worse LHV) For the engine it is essentially irrelevant whether the air enters via the air filter or the combustion air enters in part via the gas. For the gas mixer and control system such changes in the heating value (volume flow) are a challenge, however,

just as also for safety engineering concerns. An additional feature is the possibility to utilize a part of the ventilation air also as an energy source. Thinning here is to a very great extent, but with up to 3 % methane in the ventilation air this is then also an energy contribution that additionally helps to relieve the atmosphere. It should be noted that the plant with the degree of fluctuation shown in the heating value has the same BMEPs (output) as the plant with natural gas. Also the NOx emissions (500 mg NOx/Nm @ 5 % O2) can be kept constant with these fluctuations. The largest GEJ plant utilizing this resource is a plant in the Ukraine with almost 67 MW a smaller plant is shown in Figure 34.

Figure 34: The Thoresby plant/UK (coalmine methane)

Engine Lubricant the blood of the engine

The usable oil qualities and detailed information referring to the GEJ gas engines are clearly regulated in a GEJ guideline (Tech. Instruction 1000 0099). For new and not yet released oil qualities a special procedure is necessary, since experience has shown that oil qualities of similar type need not necessarily have the same behavior when used. After an oil type has been released, experience has shown that it can be seen in the same way as an indicator of various special characteristics of engine operation just as blood is for a human being. In the event that acidic combustion products get into the engine oil via the oil film on the cylinder liner, a sinking of the TBN and a rising of the TAN must be directly observed by modern analytic means. In this context, Figure 33 presents the comparison of two biogas plants with apparently very different conditions. The limit value of the sinking of the TBN is attained in the case of plant B in less than a third of the engine operating period of plant A. An exact analysis of the two plants shows, however, almost identical conditions (H2S content) affecting the service life of the oil. The actual difference lies solely in the amount of the engine oil used; thus due to the lack of an auxiliary oil tank the plant with the short oil consumption period has specifically also somewhat less than 1/3 oil in circulation. To be able to actually compare the plants, it is necessary to refer to the specific power output/liter of engine oil (Figure 36). The direct comparison results in 1000 kWh:1214 kWh per liter of engine oil. This relatively small difference is then due to the various raw materials and the qualitatively differing efficiency of the desulphurization system of the plant.


TAN/TBN TBN plant A J212 changing of oil

TBN plant B J208

TAN plant B J208

0 0
source: OMV/Q8

TAN plant A J212

1500 2000 2500



running hours [h]

Figure 35: Comparison of the oil service life of two biogas plants

Plant Engine Power (el.) Oil change interval (criteria TBN/TAN relat.) Volume of oil pan (l) Additional oil tank Engine oil consumtion (0.2 g/kWh) Sum of oil volume (run. time) Produced power/l oil

B J 208 V21 330 kW 600 h 135 no 43 l 177 l

A J 212 V21 500 kW 1950 h 230 300 223 l 753 l

1000 kWh/l 1214 kWh/l

Figure 36: Analysis of the two biogas plants regarding specific oil pollution For the area of NNG applications the ultimate analysis of the engine oil represents a direct aid to assess the gas cleaning systems being used. Figure 37 illustrates the various elements in the oil of a gas engine for a wood gas application; they should be applicable as a basis for evaluation of wear. Dramatic increases in Fe, Cu, Zn and other wear indicators were observed already after 350 operating hours. The operator of the biomass gasification facility was also able to provide detailed ash analyses during the period in which the engine oil was used. The analysis values are presented in Figure 38. The results of the oil analysis reflect also the elements of the ash analyses. For engine operation the throughput of aerosols (usually oxides and sulfates) and fine particles means a higher degree of wear, which then also shows up in the Fe values of the engine oil.










5 1

0 0,1





Figure 37: Metals in the engine oil of a wood gas plant

360 mg Zn/kg

300 mg Cu/kg

10 mg Cd/kg 80 mg Ni/kg 100 mg Pb/kg 110 mg Cr/kg

Figure 38: Ultimate analysis of the ash content of natural wood chips In the case at hand, a diagnosis examination of the bearings (specifically piston rod/piston pin bearing (bronze Cu/Sn) showed the system to be fully operable; the piston rings and cylinder liners had already suffered under the adverse conditions. A fundamental conclusion in this case is that gas cleaning was insufficient. In a further case, the engine oil indicated dramatically high values of antimony (Sb), arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd); the origin of this natural wood in this case was in an old mining area where earlier zinc, lead and various other ores were mined. That is to say, in the event of improper gas cleaning it is possible to make a conclusion about the origin of the wood via the oil analysis. This applies as well especially to wood wastes where a direct inference can be made about the coatings (lacquers, etc.). As a singularity, in the case of inadequate gas cleaning in wood gasification plants the element potassium (K) could be mentioned. Potassium is an important element of nature for biological processes; given sufficient temperatures and the presence of calcium and silicon, glass-like deposits form in the engine. As a result of these deposits the amount of wear increases drastically. The oil analysis of a plant having such conditions is shown in Figure 39. In this case the engine was sorely in need of an overhaul due to Fe values in the oil after hardly 500 operating hours. The potassium content in the engine oil in this case increased within 580 hours (output 8,900 kWh) from a few mg to 1538. Under such conditions no engine can survive. The period of operation of 580 hours was in this case not full load operation, but only part

load operation. The output during this period was 8,900 kWh, therefore the aspirating engine was run during the initial test phase with an average load of somewhat more than 15 kW, which corresponds to just over 12 % of the nominal output.



Figure 39: Oil analysis of a wood gas plant with insufficient gas cleaning The results of the Gssing, Harbore and Spiez plants show that the situation in wood gas plants can be considerably better. In these cases the key element potassium is removed perfectly from the gas and even after running times of more than 2000 hours there is no observable increase in the value (Figure 40).

OK for a catalyst

Figure 40: Oil analysis of a wood gas plant with correctly functioning gas cleaning

Additional tests are being carried out at the above wood gas plants; here too there is a sufficiently clean wood gas that even permits the use of an oxidation catalytic converter.

Applications like "Krems Chemie" or "Profusa" have shown that a wide range of gases containing hydrogen can be used in gas engines as long as the H2 content achieves a certain limit. The main criterion for the utilization of these special gases is the laminar flame speed and not the heating value of the gas. The Krems-Chemie plant has shown that even a gas with an LHV of 0.5-0.6 kWh/Nm can be used in a gas engine; above this H2 limit the influence of the hydrogen content is relatively low and can be compensated by different turbocharger tuning. The main criteria for the utilization of pyrolysis gas or wood gas are the contamination of the gas and the content of condensing hydrocarbons like tars. The common NOx emissions (e.g. TA Luft: NOx < 500 mg/Nm) can be achieved by the lean-burn combustion concept without any secondary exhaust gas treatment. A further challenge for the utilization of these kinds of gases is the often required limits in terms of CO emission that cannot be achieved without secondary exhaust gas treatment due to the typical high CO content of the wood gas itself. The utilization of an oxidation catalyst demands a high standard of gas cleaning and gas pre-treatment to reduce the harmful contamination for the catalyst. Less sensitive, but causing higher investment costs would be thermal aftertreatment of the exhaust gas like the GE Jenbacher Cl.AIR system, which is in successful operation at more than 100 landfill plants to reduce CO emissions. As shown above, the tasks are manifold and range from unconventional applications in the oil industry to biogenic energy sources (biogas) and diverse gases produced in chemical/technical processes.

GE Jenbacher product line

The GE Jenbacher product line of gas engines presently comprises four constructional series with a total of nine engines graduated according to cubic capacity and number of cylinders. The program covers a performance spectrum of 330 to 3,047 kWel and 361 to 3,047 kWth (see Figure 41).
3,500 3041 2433 1820
1492 1792 2399 3020

3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500

Electrical output [kW] Thermal output (70/90C) [kW]

natural gas NOx 500 mg/Nm3 (Dry exhaust gas; based on 5% O2)




JMS 208 JMS 312 JMS 316 JMS 320 JMS 412 JMS 416 JMS 420 JMS 612 JMS 616 JMS 620 GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L GS-N.L

Figure 41: The 2006 GE Jenbacher product line













Various versions of fuels such as natural gas, propane as well as biogases like sewage and landfill gas are available. GE Jenbacher cogeneration systems achieve a total efficiency of more than 90 % under strict observance of all international emission regulations. The integration of planning, design and manufacturing guarantees the most efficient production of standardized components as well as of tailor-made systems of superior quality. A sophisticated manufacturing process allows a short delivery time of 5 to 7 months depending on the type of engine and the scope of supply. All these engines can be modified to operate with the above-mentioned kind of special gases.

DI Michael Wagner Marketing Dr. G. Herdin CTO