Decarbonisation Technology – August 2021

Zero-emission steam generation with electricity Advances in electric technology have the capability to provide zero-emission clean steam or process heat for a truly sustainable solution

James Lewis Chromalox

T he fossil fuel age is well under way as our world has become heavily reliant on the finite supply of fossil fuel-based energy for everything from power generation and transportation to industrial process heating and steam generation. As energy demand continues to increase, fossil fuels can no longer be looked to for long-term reliability, and the effect of fossil fuel-based systems on the environment is becoming more apparent. For these reasons, the focus has been shifting to renewable energy generation at an increasing rate, and alternative fuel technologies revolving around hydrogen, ammonia, biogas and renewable fuels are also making a breakthrough. With alternative energy sources becoming more prevalent for regional energy generation as well as support from local and federal government legislation aimed at decarbonisation, utilisation of clean energy down to the local process level is also gaining traction to curb emissions, particularly in steam

generation. Due to steam’s excellent heat transfer properties and relative ease of use and abundant supply, it is used across multiple industries from residential and commercial building heat to medical sterilisation and industrial heating applications. Fuel fired steam generation has been the prevailing method for many years because electric technology has been generally dismissed due to its higher energy cost. However, with new developments in electric heating technology as well as government legislation aimed at regulating and decreasing emissions, the landscape is changing in favour of electric. Electric resistance heating elements have been used in the industry for over 100 years without significant change, as the overarching design is simple but effective. While electric heating elements are versatile in how they are designed and customised, the core technology has been intact for decades for low voltage applications to 690VAC. That all recently changed when


Powered by