Image showing advanced microscoping with Torbjörn Johnsson inte the mirror.
​Image showing advanced microscoping with Torbjörn Johnsson inte the mirror.
​Photographer: Oscar Magnusson

Unique research area receives large, new grant

​The maximum limit was 5 million, then 7.1 million was granted. The project " Digitalizing corrosion predictions - More efficient and flexible waste/biomass power production", is receiving a large grant from the Swedish Energy Agency's program Biokraft. A strong industrial consortium is also backing up the research project, which is a collaboration between Chalmers university of Technology and the Royal Institute for Technology.

Torbjörn Jonsson, project manager at the department for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers. What does this grant and support mean?
We can continue to develop modeling and prediction of corrosion in complex environments, here at Chalmers. This is a unique research area where we, by using a fundamental research approach, take advantage of corrosion mechanisms. Through modeling, we then translate this into corrosion predictions in harsh, complex environments.

What do you aim for this project to lead to?
The overall goal of the project is to increase the efficiency and flexibility/predictability of heat and power generation from combustion of biomass/waste. The method we will use is to develop digital tools to predict the corrosion rate of key components. The project is a research collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology, Henrik Larsson (additional facts about the project is found further down on this page).

According to the announcement by the Swedish Energy Agency, the project should strengthen Biopower's role and competitiveness in the sustainable transformation of the energy system. Can you describe how the project meets this goal?
Corrosion is one of the major challenges for biopower. A successful project would improve efficiency and economy and thereby increase the use of biomass or waste as energy source instead of, for example, coal, which is the dominant fuel in a global perspective. This would strengthen Biopower's role and competitiveness in the transformation of the energy system, since biomass or waste is a resource that is carbon neutral or partially carbon neutral and has a great potential to play an important role in the transformation to a completely renewable energy system.

The project is also supported by an industrial consortium with a corresponding sum. Today, when many are forced to tighten costs, it seems rather remarkable. What are your thoughts on that aspect?
Thanks to our competence center, HTC, we have good relationships with several companies that are interested in this type of issue. Since the corrosion attacks in these plants are very complex and difficult to predict, the industry is very motivated to work with researchers to try to solve these challenges. One of the more important components in these plants, are superheater tubes, which there are miles of inside the plant. It is not uncommon that replacement caused by corrosion of one subset of these tubes, cost 10-20 million SEK. With better predictability, we can extend the entire lifespan or avoid costly (unplanned) stops, which will save a lot of money for the companies.

For more information, contact: Torbjörn Jonsson


More on the project " Digitalizing corrosion predictions - More efficient and flexible waste/biomass power production"
For Chalmers part, Torbjörn Jonsson, will work with colleagues, such as the researchers Sedigheh Bigdeli and Loli Paz and the doctoral student Amanda Persdotter, to implement the modeling and characterization of what the corrosion looks like from a modeling perspective. Henrik Larsson, from The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) who is an expert in modeling will develop from a corrosion perspective, a unique type of modeling. The academic collaboration within the project is complemented by a very strong industrial consortium, including the entire value chain, i.e. Öresundskraft AB, Vattenfall AB, Thermo-Calc Software AB, MEC - BioHeat & Power, Kanthal AB, E.ON Sverige AB, B&W Völund and Sandvik Materials Technology.

More on Torbjörn Jonsson
Torbjörn Jonsson is a project manager and works as a specialist in the Department of Energy & Materials, in the unit Organic Environmental Chemistry 1. His research is focused on better understanding and preventing high temperature corrosion. He works within the Competence Center in High Temperature Corrosion (HTC), the project that has now been awarded is connected to HTC.

Published: Thu 04 Jun 2020.