Low-Swirl Combustion Clears the Air

Photo of a laboratory prototype of an ultraclean, low-swirl burner (UCLSB)
July 2003

Within hours of the August 14 blackout, researchers throughout the U.S. in the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) began mobilizing resources to help the U.S. Department of Energy find an answer. Among them is Berkeley Lab's Joe Eto of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, who overnight became a much sought-after expert on the subject.

A unique type of clean-burning combustion technology called ultraclean, low-swirl combustion (UCLSC), developed by Berkeley Lab combustion researcher Robert Cheng, is now entering the marketplace after years of research and development. Burners using this technology produce 10 to 100 times lower emissions of nitrogen oxides than conventional burners, making it easier and more economical for industries to meet clean air requirements.