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  • 1.
    Elled, Anna-Lena
    University of Borås, School of Engineering.
    Co-combustion of biomass and waste fuels in a fluidised bed boiler: fuel synergism2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this work was to study co-combustion of biomass and waste fuels in a circulating fluidised bed boiler and to detect synergy effects with respect to flue gas composition and ash formation during boiler operation. It was also the aim to perform supplementary thermodynamic equilibrium calculations in order to support the experimental results. The base fuel used was either wood or bark pellets and the additional fuels included municipal sewage sludge, sludge from the pulp and paper industry and demolition wood. In some of the tests, additives were supplied to the boiler to enhance any effects from substances of special interest. Examples of such additives are zinc oxide, PVC, ammonium sulphate, kaolin and zeolites. The 12 MWth circulating fluidised bed boiler situated at Chalmers University of Technology was central to the investigation. All combustion tests were performed in this boiler and it provided operating data, flue gas composition and samples of fuel, ash and deposits under required combustion conditions. Great effort was put into the analyses of ashes and deposits and in excess of conventional techniques, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (TOF-SIMS), scanning electron microscopy energy dispersive x-ray (SEM EDX) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) were applied to several of the samples to create a more complete scan of the constituents. The thermodynamic equilibrium calculations were performed using the computer program FactSage and the module EQUILIB. The thermodynamic data was collected from the database FACT. The focus of the investigation was directed towards three main areas: sulphur capture performance by lime addition to the bed, distribution of heavy metals in ashes and flue gas, and formation of deposits on heat transfer surfaces in the convective pass and the use of municipal sewage sludge as a preventive additive. The relatively high content of phosphorus in municipal sewage sludge interferes with the sulphur capture by lime and decreases the sulphur capture performance. Phosphorus reacts with calcium, which otherwise is available for reaction with sulphur, and forms compounds such as calcium phosphates. The formation was supported by equilibrium calculations and proved by analysing the ashes with TOF-SIMS. The decreased lime efficiency must be taken into account when sulphur capture strategies are decided for the reduction of SO2 emissions from co-combustion of municipal sewage sludge. Further, the use of bark pellets as base fuel during co-combustion with sulphur containing wastes reduces the sulphur emissions due to their relatively high content of calcium and potassium in connection with its low content of sulphur. The supply of heavy metals to the combustion increases dramatically when wood is replaced by municipal sewage sludge under otherwise constant conditions. The heavy metals are to a large extent recovered in the ash and captured by the flue gas cleaning system. Even the most volatile species, such as mercury, are captured and enriched in the fine fly ash. The effective metal capture is partly due to the sludge ash and partly to the bag filter. The amount of ash in the boiler increases with the sludge and the fine fly ash fraction constitutes a high particle surface area which enhances the capture of volatile metals. Further, the ash contains large amounts of several elements known to retain trace elements such as aluminium, calcium, carbon and silicon. Especially the presence of zeolites in the sludge is likely to contribute to the capture of mercury. Further, the enrichment ratios of metals in the filter ash indicate the necessity of including bag-filters in the flue gas cleaning system in order to achieve sufficient removal of toxic heavy metals. Zinc, and its effect on deposit formation, was given special attention since the metal is commonly present in demolition wood. The result showed that combustion of demolition wood contaminated with zinc alone generates only a modest amount of deposits. Demolition wood contaminated with both zinc and chlorine gives rise to more severe deposit formation. The main reason for this is the formation of alkali chlorides but also zinc chlorides in the flue gas. The formation of zinc chlorides is, under reducing conditions, thermodynamically favoured between 450 and 850°C. Under oxidising conditions, the formation is initiated at 400°C and gradually increased with the temperature. Municipal sewage sludge is not only a waste that must be disposed of, it can also be regarded as an additive to prevent deposit formation during combustion of high alkali biomass. The sludge reduces the concentration of KCl in the flue gas, impedes the deposit formation and eliminates the content of chlorine in the deposits. The occurrence is clear of though the fuel is contaminated with chlorine. The effect is partly due to sulphation of potassium and partly to potassium sequestration by the sludge ash.

  • 2.
    Pettersson, Anita
    University of Borås, School of Engineering.
    Characterisation of Fuels and Fly Ashes from Co-Combustion of Biofuels and Waste Fuels in a Fluidised Bed Boiler. A Phosphorus and Alkali Perspective2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the efforts to create sustainable production of heat and power and to reduce the net CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, alternative fuels are today being utilised. These fuels are, for example, biofuels and waste derived fuels such as different residues from the agricultural sector and the pulp and paper industry, municipal sewage sludge and municipal sorted solid waste. These fuels put new demands on the combustion facilities due to their chemical composition and this in turn calls for methods of prediction for the evaluation of their combustion behaviour. Most significant for the majority of these fuels are the high alkali and chlorine concentrations which cause bed agglomeration, deposit formation and corrosion on heat transfer surfaces. These problems can be solved if sufficient knowledge is obtained of the specific fuel or fuel mix. In this work, chemical fractionation, a step by step leaching method, was used on fuels, fuel mixes and fly ashes from co-combustion in a fluidised bed combustor. In addition, XRD and SEM-EDX were used for the fuel and fly ash characterisation. Different alkali chloride reducing additives i.e. kaolin, zeolites and sulphur were investigated as was the influence of various bed materials: silica sand, olivine sand and blast furnace slag (BFS). Some of the new, alternative fuels, such as municipal sewage sludge and meat and bone meal (MBM) contain high concentrations of phosphorus which is a very important nutrient essential in many biological processes. Phosphorus rock used as raw material in the phosphate industry is a depleting natural resource estimated to last for only 30-200 years according to different sources. The combustion of municipal sewage sludge enriches the phosphorus in the ashes while hazardous components such as pathogens and organic pollutants are rendered harmless after combustion. However, toxic heavy metals are also enriched in the ashes. One aim of the work was to find a sufficiently effective and low cost method for phosphorus extraction from fly ashes derived from municipal sewage sludge combustion. Two types of municipal sewage sludges were investigated using different chemicals for the phosphorus cleaning step in the waste water treatment plants. The first sewage sludge derived from a plant using iron sulphate as flocculant to precipitate phosphorus as iron phosphate. The second sludge meanwhile came from a plant using aluminium sulphate as flocculant to precipitate phosphorus as aluminium phosphate. Both sewage sludges were dewatered prior to combustion and co-combusted with wood pellets. At pH 1 nearly all the phosphorus was released from the fly ash derived from the sewage sludge where aluminium sulphate was used as a phosphorus precipitation agent. Iron sulphate as precipitant inhibited the phosphorus extraction from the ashes, resulting in only 50-80% of the phosphorus being released. Furthermore, the mobility of heavy metals to the leachates was investigated to establish whether the leachates were suitable as fertilisers. Only minor fractions of Pd, Hg, Cr, Cu, Mn, Co, Ni, As, Sb, V and Zn were found in the leachates, all well within the legislated limitations for fertilisers. However, one exception was Cd that was nearly totally dissolved in the leachate. Thus a decadmiation of the leachate is necessary prior to any utilisation of the ashes and reuse of phosphorus as fertiliser.

  • 3.
    Pettersson, Anita
    et al.
    University of Borås, School of Engineering.
    Zevenhoven, Maria
    Steenari, Britt-Marie
    Åmand, Lars-Erik
    Application of chemical fractionation methods for characterisation of biofuels, waste derived fuels and CFB co-combustion fly ashes2008In: Fuel, ISSN 0016-2361, E-ISSN 1873-7153, Vol. 87, no 15-16, p. 3183-3193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the important efforts to decrease the net CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, new, alternative fuels are being included in the fuel mixes used in utility boilers. However, these fuels have ash properties that are different from those of the traditionally used fuels and in some cases technical problems, such as ash fouling and corrosion occur due to this. Therefore, diagnostic and predictive methods are developed and used to avoid such problems. Determination of the chemical association forms of important elements, such as potassium and sodium, in the fuel by chemical fractionation is a method well defined for coal and biofuels, such as wood pellets, bark and forest residues. Chemical fractionation is a step by step leaching method extracting water soluble salts in the first step, ion exchangeable elements, such as organically associated sodium, calcium and magnesium in the second step and acid soluble compounds such as carbonates and sulfates in the third step. The solid residue fraction consists of silicates, oxides, sulfides and other minerals. The compound extracted in the two first steps is considered reactive in the combustion with a few exceptions. In this work, it has been applied to some waste fuels, i.e. sewage sludge, straw and refuse derived fuel (RDF), as well as to coal and wood. The present work also includes results from combustion tests in a fluidised bed boiler where three blends of the investigated fuels were used. The fractionation results for the fuel blends are weighted results of the fractionations of the pure fuels discussed above which are compared with fractionations of their corresponding fly ashes. The co-combustion strategy gave very good results in reducing ash problems. Possible chemical mechanisms involved are discussed in the article.

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