The National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) established the scientific and educational center “Ekoenergy 4.0”. Researches develop technology there to “transform” low-grade coal, agro-industrial waste and wood processing into an environmentally friendly source of heat and electricity. The Global Energy Prize laureate, RAS Academician and Professor of the scientific and educational center I. N. Butakova TPU Sergey Alekseenko became the Scientific Director of “Ekoenergy 4.0”.
The center includes two sites. One of them is located at Tomsk CHP-3. Here specialists of TPU together with partners created two technological lines for gasification of solid fuels. Gasification technology allows for thermal decomposition of solid fuel to obtain thermal energy, as well as synthesis gas, which can be used to generate thermal and electrical energy. In this case, coal will be used for gasification at CHP-3, including its low-grade types and, in the future — production and solid municipal waste. This is a unique project for the whole of Russia. The complex can process from four tons of solid fuel per hour, producing more than 17 thousand cubic meters of synthesis gas. Now the complex is in the stage of commissioning and preliminary tests, and in the summer of 2019 it will be full-scale industrial tests.
The second site is the solid fuel gasification laboratory on the University campus. It recreates the full production cycle — from the grinding of fuel to the utilization of the resulting gas. Here researchers are looking for new resource-efficient and environmentally friendly technologies for modern energy.
“In the next 20-30 years, Russia will be dominated by energy on fossil fuels, primarily on gas. Therefore, it is very important to work on improving the efficiency of burning such fuels. We need technologies for deep processing of coal, mainly gasification — that is, incomplete combustion to produce fuel synthesis gas, which is also burned with a minimum of emissions. There are scientific grounds for overcoming such challenges in Russia, and it is necessary to solve these problems from an engineering point of view, — says academician Sergey Alekseenko. — The project of Tomsk Polytechnic University on gasification is a big step in this direction across the country. I personally got acquainted with the work already done, and its high level convinced me of the need to support this area of work in the TPU.”
Sergey Alekseenko headed the Institute of Thermophysics SB RAS for many years. The scientist is a recognized expert in the field of thermal physics, energy and energy saving. He wrote more than 300 scientific works, including six monographs and 130 articles. He has 33 patents for inventions. He received the Global Energy Prize in 2018 for research and development in the field of heat power engineering, which allows creating modern energy-saving equipment.
“Global challenges require bold, innovative solutions and a deep understanding of the problem. The scientist is a world-class specialist, and his participation in the implementation of our project is very important for the University. We hope that the center “Ekoenergy 4.0” will become a place of fusion of fundamental and applied science. So that practical solutions are based on serious research, and the fundamental work is inspired by real tasks. The center should become multi-purpose and address the issues of processing, efficient handling of different types of fuel,” says Peter Chubik, Acting Rector of Tomsk Polytechnic University.
Students of different specialties — heat power engineering, heat engineering, chemists, ecologists, future specialists in power engineering and automation will take part in the work of the center and in scientific research.