Catalytic oxidation offers low-temperature surface conversion of hydrocarbon fuels. This feature has found several practical applications in refinements of some existing energy technologies. The current review is focused on the use of catalytic converters and processes in two energy technologies, i.e. I. gas turbines and II. radiant burners. An overview of catalytically stabilized combustion is provided which constitutes an attractive alternative to gas-phase homogeneous combustion in gas turbines since, e.g. it can stabilize flames at lower fuel-to-air ratios, thereby lowering flame temperatures and reducing NOx emission. Further, recent developments relating to catalytic oxyforming of hydrocarbon fuels prior to total combustion and some others patent categories are discussed. Furthermore, patented developments in relation to catalytic conversion in radiant burners that transform released combustion energy into infrared radiation which is useful, e.g. in drying paint are summarized. Finally, a brief comment on the future directions of the two selected energy technologies is provided.
Department of Chemistry, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wybrzeze Wyspianskiego 27, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland.