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Interview with Georgy Ryabov Dr. Techn. of sciences, head of the laboratory of special boilers JSC «VTI»

Public opinion, primarily in developed countries, strongly dictates the need for widespread use of renewable energy sources (RES). He is echoed by many experts and forecasters, who consider it possible to share more than 70% of renewable energy in electricity generation, it is planned to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070.
He spoke about the reduction of CO2 emissions in the production of electricity and heat from coal.
Dr. tech. Sci., Head of the Laboratory of Special Boilers of JSC «VTI» Georgy Alexandrovich Ryabov.

— Georgy Alexandrovich, what tendencies, in your opinion, have been prevailing lately in the global energy sector?
I would single out four most important trends:
• maximum efficiency of fossil fuels using, increasing the efficiency of electricity and heat generation using a steam-power cycle and combined-cycle plants, as well as technologies for gasification (IGCC) and technologies for processing solid fuels to obtain useful products;
• maximum environmental cleanliness, including both traditional standardized harmful gas emissions and removal of greenhouse gases;
• maximum use of wastes that meets the requirements of a circular economy, the use of biomass as a CO2-neutral fuel, waste disposal in the production of electricity and heat;
• digitalization of electricity and heat generation, providing flexibility and achievement of minimum loads, predictive analysis of the state of the equipment.
— Taking into account climate change, the issues of reducing greenhouse gas emissions come to the fore. What do you see as the solution to this primary problem?
The increasing share of RES does not mean the abandonment of traditional energy sources, since for the reliable operation of the energy system, at least 8 MW of the capacity of these sources is required for every 10 MW of RES. At the same time, energy security will always come first. A number of recent reports and publications from the International Energy Agency have shown that coal-fired energy still has to be and can become a bridge to decarbonization through the use of the above principles and, in the future, the introduction of CO2 capture, use and storage (CCUS) technologies.
In the short term, the main way to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from coal-fired thermal power plants is through combined generation of electricity and heat. JSC VTI, JSC EMAlliance, JSC Teploenergoservis, JSC Teploelektroproekt Institute and Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Higher Education National Research University MPEI completed the "Development of coal-fired power units of a new generation CHPP with a capacity of 100-120 MW with improved technical and economic parameters for future replacement existing equipment or new construction. The results of the work showed that the coal-fired CHPP provides an increasing efficiency when operating in the condensing mode by more than 4.5%, a reduction in specific fuel consumption for electricity generation with thermal consumption by 6%, a reduction in harmful emissions by 2–10 times compared to existing CHPs .
The primary task in the field of coal-fired generation in Russia is still the creation and development of coal-fired power units for supercritical steam parameters (SCS). For such a unit, JSC "VTI", JSC "TsKTI" and JSC "TsNIITMASH", together with power engineering plants, at the beginning of this century, developed the main technical solutions for the boiler and turbine, and made options for the layout of the block as a whole. 660–800 MW units with a live steam pressure of 28 MPa and a superheat temperature of 600/600 °С provide a net efficiency of 44.5–45.4%.

— Georgy Alexandrovich, tell us about the unique experience of JSC «VTI» in the field of technologies for capturing, storing and using CO2.
JSC VTI jointly with “Podzemgazprom”, the Institute of Oil and Gas named after V.I. Gubkin carried out the first comprehensive study in Russia on the capture, storage and use of CO2. Proposals were prepared for the creation of a pilot plant with CO2 capture and its use for injection into depleted oil wells (EOR), and the possibilities of geological storage near the largest emitters were also identified.
JSC VTI performed a number of computational studies of oxyfuel combustion in an oxygen environment with CO2 recirculation for pulverized coal boilers and circulating fluidized bed boilers (CFB). The first studies in the Russian Federation on the kinetics of coal burnout in an oxygen and CO2 environment have been carried out.
A number of computational and experimental studies have been carried out to capture carbon dioxide from gasification gases of air blast and from flue gases of thermal power plants using high-temperature calcium cycles.
Important are the developments of JSC VTI in the field of beneficial use of CO2, which can be used in full-scale projects for capturing CO2 from flue gases of thermal power plants.
Numerous fundamental studies have been carried out by JSC VTI in the field of hydrodynamics of interconnected fluidized and circulating fluidized bed reactors (chemical loopin). The first studies of binary mixtures hydrodynamics of particles sand-metal oxides, carried out by JSC "VTI", opened up a new field of research into the hydrodynamics of furnace circuits and interconnected reactors.
To achieve a reduction in the carbon footprint of products (from electricity and heat to chemicals, steel, cement that use this energy), first of all, it is absolutely necessary to introduce units with high efficiency and low harmful emissions, including a new generation of coal-fired CHP. These developments are in the process of being ready for detailed design and manufacture. It is necessary to sharply strengthen the areas of capture, disposal and use of CO2. JSC VTI has sufficient competence in these areas of knowledge, having completed the first research in the Russian Federation 12 years ago. It is necessary to develop a state program for decarbonization in the energy sector, paying increased attention to the development and implementation of pilot plants in 2023–2024.