Publication | Contributions to trade journals

Strategy for the application of novel characterization methods for biomass fuels: Case study of straw

Published 2014

Citation: Obernberger I. Strategy for the application of novel characterization methods for biomass fuels: Case study of straw. Energy and Fuels. 2014;28(2):1041-52.


Because of an increasing interest in the utilization of new and in terms of combustion-related properties rather unknown biomass fuels in heat and power production, advanced fuel characterization tools are gaining rising interest. Currently, ongoing research and development (R&D) focuses on a better and more precise description of the combustion properties of specific biomass fuels by applying new/advanced analysis methods and modeling tools. These novel characterization methods cover combustion tests in specially designed lab reactors, special fuel indices for biomass fuels, and the dedicated application of high-temperature equilibrium calculations. In this paper, a strategy is presented how the information gained from different advanced fuel characterization methods can be combined to characterize a fuel regarding its combustion behavior in a novel way. By means of this strategy, relevant qualitative and quantitative information regarding the ash-melting behavior, aerosol, SOx, HCl, and NOx emissions to be expected, and high-temperature corrosion risks can be gained. In addition, the approach can also be used for the evaluation of additives and fuel blending as measures to improve specific combustion properties. The results show that a much better and clearer picture about the combustion properties of a specific biomass fuel can be provided than by conventional approaches (such as wet chemical analysis or other standardized methods). The results can be used for the preliminary design of plants as well as for evaluation of the applicability of a specific technology for a certain biomass fuel or fuel spectrum. Moreover, they can be applied in combination with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations for the detailed design and evaluation of furnaces and boilers. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

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