China has the strictest and the most ambitious emission targets in the world. This doesn’t mean that less energy is needed in China or other industrialized countries, quite the opposite. Industrial activities and energy production are undergoing a revolution, and emission requirements will continue to become more stringent.
Oilon completed their first burner sales in China in mid-90s. The company made their first forays into the market with Finnish-made burners, but it didn’t take the company longer than till 2002 to open their own factory in China. A robust dealer and service network was built around the factory. Today, the network covers the entire country.
The Chinese energy revolution has its roots in Beijing with China’s largest district heating company, Beijing District Heating Group. The company provides heating for the city’s 19.6 million inhabitants. They are also responsible for ensuring the safety of energy production and distribution by keeping the equipment stable and in good working condition. At the first stage, the company switched over from coal to natural gas and, more recently, to Low NOx solutions – burners with exceptionally low nitrogen oxide emissions.
“Combustion technology is increasingly being supplemented with new clean and renewable energy forms.” The benefits of this transition are starting to be felt not only in Beijing but also in other major cities and everywhere in China.
“Traditionally, burners have been the go-to Oilon product in China. These days, however, industrial heat pumps have also become an increasingly popular article,” says Ville Pekkola, General Manager, Oilon China.
Strict emission requirements have created a lot of pressure in the Chinese market, resulting in very rapid development in combustion technology. Already in 2014, the Chinese Boiler Association recognized Oilon as the best foreign brand in the industry. Oilon’s latest Ultra Low NOx burners can already reach emission levels lower than 9 ppm (18 mg/Nm3).
In 2016, as part of the latest five-year plan, the Chinese government launched an initiative for atmospheric emission prevention and monitoring with even more stringent requirements. Beijing District Heating Group was quick to respond to the new policy. That same year, the company installed the latest Oilon ACE burners in the Wangjing Lantian district heating plant, the first company in the world to do so. The company achieved emission levels lower than 15 ppm NOx (30 mg/Nm3), which is close to the most stringent boiler emission requirements in the world.
The result of years of development, Oilon ACE is a robust Low NOx burner with extensive flame adjustment possibilities. ACE burners can be used in hot water and steam boilers, hot air generators as well as different process heating applications. Thus far, Oilon has delivered around 1,400 ACE burners to the Chinese market. Of these burners, more than 100 were delivered to Beijing District Heating Group. ACE burners are used extensively in district heating plants in Northern, North-Western and North-Eastern China, especially in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region. The burner model has received recognition especially for its modern appearance, steady operation, and, naturally, its extremely low NOx emissions.
Industrial production is another field where reducing NOx emission is becoming an increasingly important goal. To reach extremely low NOx emissions, ACE burners utilize various advanced technologies, such as combustion air and fuel staging as well as internal and external flue gas recirculation.
“Oilon has a solid footing in the Chinese market, and currently, we’re expecting strong growth especially in heat pump sales. Oilon’s Low NOx combustion technology is well known and highly respected in China, as we offer top-of-the line technology that results in substantial emission reduction,” Pekkola says.
The latest combustion technology needs to be supplemented with other solutions that increase process efficiency. It is essential to get the most out of the heat produced. Historically, it has been notoriously difficult to utilize waste heat from industrial processes. For instance, the temperatures in cooling circuits tend to be too low for direct use, which means that the bulk of the excess heat has been evaporated to the atmosphere. With modern heat pumps, this waste heat can be used in different applications, such as district heating.
“Our job is to help plants switch over to cleaner energy solutions and, in the future, to renewable sources of energy. It is likely that heat pumps will play a more prominent role in the future, as they are essential in achieving China’s ambitious emission targets,” Pekkola continues.