Publication | Contributions to trade journals

Application of novel and advanced fuel characterization tools for the combustion related characterization of different wood/Kaolin and straw/Kaolin mixtures

Published 2013

Citation: Sommersacher P, Brunner T, Obernberger I, Kienzl N, Kanzian W. Application of novel and advanced fuel characterization tools for the combustion related characterization of different wood/kaolin and straw/kaolin mixtures. Energy and Fuels. 2013;27(9):5192-206.


The increased demand for energy from biomass enforces the utilization of new biomass fuels (e.g., energy crops, short-rotation coppices, as well as wastes and residues from agriculture and the food industry). Compared to conventional wood fuels, these new biomass fuels usually show considerably higher ash contents and lower ash sintering temperatures, which leads to increased problems concerning slagging, ash deposit formation, and particulate matter emissions. One possibility to combat these problematic behaviors is the application of fuel additives such as kaolin. In contrast to the usual approach for the application of additives based on an experimental determination of an appropriate additive ratio, this study applies novel and advanced fuel characterization tools for the characterization of biomass/kaolin mixtures. In the first step the pure biomass fuels (softwood from spruce and straw) and the additive were chemically analyzed. On the basis of the analysis theoretical mixing calculations of promising kaolin ratios were conducted. These theoretical mixtures were evaluated with fuel indexes and thermodynamic equilibrium calculations (TEC). Fuel indexes provide the first information regarding high temperature corrosion (2S/Cl) and ash melting tendency (Si + P + K)/(Ca + Mg + Al). TEC can be used for a qualitative prediction of the release of volatile and semivolatile elements (K, Na, S, Cl, Zn, Pb) and the ash melting behavior. Moreover, selected mixtures of spruce and straw with kaolin were prepared for an evaluation and validation of the release behavior of volatile and semivolatile ash forming elements with lab-scale reactor experiments. The validation of the ash melting behavior was conducted by applying the standard ash melting test. It could be shown that the new approach to apply novel and advanced fuel characterization tools to determine the optimum kaolin ratio for a certain biomass fuel works well and thus opens a new and targeted method for additive evaluation and application. In addition, it helps to significantly reduce time-consuming and expensive testing campaigns. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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