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Speciation of Chlorine and Alkali Metals in Biomass Combustion and Gasification

[+] Author Affiliations
Pavankumar Sonwane, Heng Ban

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Thomas K. Gale

Southern Research Institute

Paper No. IMECE2006-15032, pp. 259-265; 7 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Energy Conversion and Resources
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4783-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Alkali metals, mainly sodium and potassium, together with other ash forming inorganic components in biomass increases fouling, slagging, and high temperature corrosion during biomass combustion or gasification. To reduce the amount of alkali vapor to an acceptable level, which may be affected by Si, Al, Ca, S, Mg, and P, the information on the speciation of alkali metals is essential. In this study, thermodynamic equilibrium calculations were performed to determine the distribution and mode of occurrence of gaseous chlorine and alkali metals of three types of biomass (corn stover, switch grass, and wheat straw) in combustion and gasification processes. The influence of temperature, pressure, and air-fuel ratio was also evaluated. Results show that the excess air has limited influence on the speciation of chlorine and potassium during combustion. However, the influence of the excess air is significant during gasification. Increasing excess air enhances the formation of vapor HCl and KOH as well as reduction in vapor KCl and K2 Cl2. In biomass combustion and gasification, increasing pressure increases vapor HCl and K2 Cl2 and reduces the amount of vapor KCl and KOH. At higher temperatures (>1100K), the gaseous alkali species increased greatly. The results will be useful in the better development of hot gas clean-up technologies.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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