Jansen Combustion and Boiler Technologies

40 Years of Engineering Excellence

Founded by Johan Jansen in 1976, 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Jansen Combustion and Boiler Technologies, Inc. (Jansen). The company provides combustion systems, boiler retrofit design, equipment supply solutions, and combustion enhancement designs for waste-to-energy projects, and more efficient burning of “difficult fuels” such as biomass, refuse-derived fuel, chemical pulping spent liquors, construction debris, agricultural waste, and others.

The core of the Jansen expertise lies in retrofitting and upgrading industrial boilers and increasing their fuel-burning capacity, improving their operational efficiency, and reducing emissions. From its earliest years, Jansen has focussed on becoming recognized in the industry as the expert on retrofitting biomass and waste-fuel fired industrial boilers.

Having built a reputation for quality projects across North America, Jansen has grown into a global industry player, serving clients in France, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, China, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Australia, and New Zealand. In all, Jansen has evaluated, upgraded and retrofitted hundreds of boilers over the past 40 years.

The Canadian Business Journal spoke with John La Fond, President, Mike Britt, Vice President, Design and Construction, and John Van Aelstyn, Vice President, Finance and Administration, about operating in a niche engineering segment and the upside that Jansen provides to its global clientele.

Global Market

The recent low cost of fossil fuels and unattractive power purchase agreements has provided little incentive to industrial boiler owners/operators to invest in waste-based fuel fired facilities in the United States. This has resulted in Jansen becoming a more global provider. Jansen has been very active in the Canadian market, with three recent biomass-fired boiler combustion system upgrades at pulp and paper mills, two in Alberta and one in British Columbia. The goals of these projects were to increase biomass firing capacity, replace fossil fuels, reduce unburned fuel losses, and improve emissions performance.

Jansen has built an outstanding global reputation in the pulp and paper industry and also has excellent references from waste-to-energy providers, independent power producers, and other industries that burn biomass fuels, such as the sugar industry and food processors. “We are currently developing projects with sugar, and pulp and paper companies in Colombia and Central America, as well as Eastern Europe” says La Fond.

Environmental Driving Forces

“As emerging environmental regulations make coal burning more and more challenging, we expect that economic incentives will become more available for burning biomass as a renewable energy source in the future. We are seeing some European countries that are offering incentives, such as energy credits or incentivized power contracts to burn more biomass,” Van Aelstyn says.

The United States has established industrial boiler MACT rules targeting control of hazardous air pollutants. Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are used as a surrogate for hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and CO emissions limits have been established for different boiler classifications and fuel types. CO emissions are often elevated in biomass-fired boilers and Jansen has been modifying boilers for several years to improve combustion and reduce CO emissions to meet these regulatory limits.

Overall, Jansen boiler upgrades can result in reductions in CO, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM) emissions.

Engineering Excellence

Jansen holds an ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section I. “S” stamp and the NBIC “R” stamp for the design of boiler pressure parts. These certify Jansen to design boiler pressure parts and make pressure part equipment changes as may be required to meet the project objectives.

Jansen is known for its engineering excellence and efficient project execution. “As we focus on retrofitting existing boilers, every project requires a blend of customization, innovation and experience,” Britt comments. “Our retrofit designs begin with a thorough evaluation of the boiler performance, including field data gathering and observation of operations. The evaluation step helps determine the root cause of boiler deficiencies and guides decisions on upgrade requirements. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling is used extensively to optimize the combustion air and fuel delivery before the detailed design of hardware modifications is initiated. We do all of our CFD modeling in-house and the modeling is done by boiler and combustion specialists. This is a major difference between what Jansen brings to its clients and other suppliers.”

Besides combustion air delivery systems, Jansen has engineered and supplied new fuel distribution systems, burners, superheaters, tubular air heaters, and economizers. Jansen is also developing combustion systems that are more flexible than ever before, and capable of automatically and efficiently following swings in firing rates to meet fluctuating steam demand.

Jansen attributes much of its success to its experienced and dedicated staff. The company recognizes the importance of keeping its team together in order to maintain the high level of expertise in-house, and it is no surprise that the company experiences very low turnover.

Looking Forward

Jansen looks forward to the opportunities and challenges that come with its future growth. The company will continue to focus on its core clients in the pulp and paper, and forest product industries, but expects more work in the waste-to-energy industry and with independent power producers. Increased project activity is expected in such locations as Central and South America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Through its history, Jansen has worked with the mindset, that ‘a customer’s problem is our problem’. As La Fond concludes, “We are careful to focus on our strengths and leverage our technical expertise. We have gained the trust of our customers by looking out for their best interests and by offering cost-effective solutions.”


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