Chemical Flame-Arc Hybrid System
Contact: David R. Anderson
Phone: (208) 526-0837
E-mail: Send E-mail
The INL has developed a concept that superimposes an electric arc onto a combustion flame to superheat the combustion flame to plasma condition. This system will subject the feed materials to very high temperatures and long residence time for material synthesis or conversion. Although the temperature profile in the combustion flame-arc hybrid system would be somewhat lower than a plasma-plasma hybrid system, the reactivity and temperature of this superheated gas would still be significantly higher than traditional combustion flames and conventional thermal plasmas. However, the combustion flame-arc hybrid concept would have better economic benefits over the plasma-plasma hybrid systems. One of the main economic benefits is reduced energy operating cost. For equivalent thermal power output a chemical flame has lower energy operating cost than electrically heated systems. Plasma-plasma hybrid systems are 100% electrically dependent while the chemical flame-arc hybrid systems are 50% or less electrically dependent. The overall footprint for the chemical flame-arc hybrid system would be small and may be even smaller than a plasma-plasma hybrid system. Small system footprint would substantially reduce capital investment and operating costs. The cost of a chemical flame burner is also significantly lower than a plasma gas heater. The technology has been tested under laboratory conditions and will require additional development for use in commercial applications.