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Fuel Flexible Biomass Reburn Technology

[+] Author Affiliations
Guang Xu, Wei Zhou, Larry Swanson

GE Energy, Santa Ana, CA

Paper No. HT2009-88058, pp. 15-20; 6 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 3: Combustion, Fire and Reacting Flow; Heat Transfer in Multiphase Systems; Heat Transfer in Transport Phenomena in Manufacturing and Materials Processing; Heat and Mass Transfer in Biotechnology; Low Temperature Heat Transfer; Environmental Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer Education; Visualization of Heat Transfer
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4358-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Biomass reburn is a low NOx alternative to cofiring that effectively uses the high volatility and high char reactivity of biomass for NOx reduction. In this paper, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and thermal modeling, and a NOx prediction model were used to evaluate the impacts of sawdust/coal reburn on the performance of a 250 MW opposed-fired boiler burning bituminous coal as the primary fuel. The results showed that the reburn system maintained overall boiler performance with a 50 – 70 °F reduction in the furnace exit gas temperature. Predicted losses in thermal efficiency were caused by the lower biomass fuel heating value (similar to biomass cofiring) and increase in unburned carbon. The higher unburned carbon emissions were attributed to an order of magnitude larger biomass mean particle size relative to bituminous coal. Thus, LOI emissions can be improved significantly by reducing the biomass mean particle size. The NOx predictions showed that for reburn rates above about 19%, adding dry sawdust biomass to a coal reburn system can improve NOx reduction; i.e., using pure dry sawdust as reburn fuel at 30% of the total heat input can lead to NOx levels about 30% less than those for pure coal reburn under for similar firing conditions.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Fuels , Biomass



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