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Riello celebrates 30th anniversary in the UK

05 March 2024

Burner technology has seen significant changes in the last 30 years, with an emphasis on reducing emissions whilst increasing combustion efficiency, says Graham Barker

RIELLO CELEBRATED its centenary in 2022, boasting more than 100 years of combustion experience across more than 20 countries. Riello’s UK offices were established in 1992, relocating from an agency in Birmingham to an official Riello subsidiary based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Evolution of Riello

Riello's product portfolio has expanded from residential and low-power commercial burners to becoming a leader in residential burners and supplying high-power industrial burners up to 80MW. Burner technology has evolved significantly, with an emphasis on reducing emissions whilst increasing combustion efficiency. As an example, gas burners have now evolved into low NOx gas burners to satisfy evolving market and regulatory requirements.

Continued R&D programmes help Riello develop market-leading combustion technologies such as our new patented ULX (Ultra Low NOx) combustion head that can offer NOx emissions lower than 40mg/kWh without any external recirculation requirements.

Riello is also at the forefront of renewable liquid fuel research and development, including new fuels derived from waste fats and used cooking oils (UCO) such as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). We have been working closely with our leading residential OEM oil boiler customer base to provide full test programs and burner specifications.

In the UK, we have always prioritised a 'customer-first' approach. We enjoy strong customer relations with core brand values, centred on innovation and excellence, along with a commitment to swift responsiveness.

Proudest achievements

Notable achievements include the expansion of our Combustion Research Centre, located in Angiari, Italy, which tripled in size in 2001 and is now one of the leading global combustion research centres. By 2004, we had manufactured and sold more than 500,000 burners. 

In 2020 we updated our production lines to new production ‘islands’ according to the lean manufacturing principles, which improves our production efficiencies and provides additional flexibility to our burner production capacity. We also tested 100% hydrogen-ready burners to support UK government hydrogen research programmes, such as the Hy4Heat trials; and we recently launched the ULX (Ultra Low NOx) range.

Overcoming industry challenges

The electrification focus of the off-grid housing stock for the net zero target by 2050 poses a significant challenge. With the recent delay of the proposed oil boiler ban from 2026 to 2035, it appears that the government accepts a technology neutral approach to achieve required targets. The off-grid sector can help the government achieve its requirements to reduce carbon emissions by supporting renewable liquid fuels in place of current fossil fuel oils.

The biggest obstacle currently is the cost - HVO is seen as a road fuel, so it has duty and tax applied by the government. This is currently being discussed within the government and we, as an industry, are hopeful of a positive outcome regarding taxation and duties being reduced.

Looking ahead

At Riello, foresee the commercial and industrial sector evolving to include hydrogen burners, with continued emphasis on emission reductions for natural gas burners. Thanks to the development of several C&I (Commercial and Industrial) burners, Riello has established itself as a leader in the high-power segment with solutions for Monoblock and Dual Block ranges.

Graham Barker is sales and service director at Riello

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