Combustion of different types of biomass in CFB boilers

Summary:The interest to use biomass as fuels has increased strongly during the last years as a mean to reduce the CO2 emissions of energy production. Compared to conventional fuels like coal and peat, biomass fuels are more difficult. Fuel quality varies, moisture can be high, fuel handling and feeding are more demanding.

17-04-2017

The interest to use biomass as fuels has increased strongly during the last years as a mean to reduce the CO2 emissions of energy production. Compared to conventional fuels like coal and peat, biomass fuels are more difficult. Fuel quality varies, moisture can be high, fuel handling and feeding are more demanding.

With such problems, the most common technologies for industrial combustion of solid biomass fuels are: bubbling fluidized bed boilers (BFB), circulating fluidized bed boilers (CFB) and grate fired boilers. Of these, the technologies based on fluidized bed (BFB and CFB) are becoming increasingly popular.

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As a drawback, biomass-fired CFB boiler may suffer from bed agglomeration. Ash composition together with sulfur and chlorine contents in biomass fuels are the main factors having an impact on the risk of bed agglomeration in fluidized bed boilers, and on the rate of boiler fouling, deposit formation, slagging, and super heater corrosion. On the basis of ash composition, the biomass fuels can be divided into three groups having significant differences in combustion. This paper reviews in light of experience what are the main differences in fuel and ash properties and how the fuels from each group can be fired in CFB boilers.

The standard classifies biomass resources in the following main categories:
1. Woody biomass,
2. Herbaceous biomass,
3. Fruit biomass,

All categories also include sub-categories, intentional blends and unintentional mixtures. The standard reports technical specifications of properties for commercial fuels like wood pellets, briquettes, chips, sawdust, log wood, olive cake and straw bales. The specified properties include characteristics such as dimensions of the fuel, moisture, ash contents, bulk density, net calorific value, nitrogen and chlorine contents.

The standard also lists typical values and typical variations of chemical properties for the solid biomass fuels. The properties include ash content, gross and net calorific values, main combustible elements (C, H, O, N, S), halogens (Cl and F), main ash forming elements and minor ash forming elements in dry fuel. The chemical properties are given for quite many solid biomass like coniferous and deciduous woods and barks, logging residues, short rotation coppices, straws and grains of selected cereals, grasses, selected husks, stalks, trash and fruit biomass.

Even though an important information and data for various solid biomass fuels are given in standardized format, from the combustion point of view this classification is not able to quantify the fuel properties of various biomass in sufficient detail.

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Biomass CFB Boiler Plant in Bahamas

In Bahamas, the biomass can be burned using conventional combustion technology like grate furnace or fluidized bed boilers. For power generation the biomass would be charged to the furnace of a steam boiler.Steam produces by the boiler will then drive a steam turbine generator to generate electricity. The typical capacity range for biomass power plants 1-20MW.

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