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A. Maciejewska, H. Veringa, J. Sanders, S.D. Peteves

DG JRC Institute for Energy


EUR 22461 EN

Mission of the Institute for Energy The Institute for Energy provides scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of community policies related to energy. Special emphasis is given to the security of energy supply and to sustainable and safe energy production. European Commission Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) Institute for Energy, Petten (the Netherlands)

Contact details: Anna Maciejewska phone: +31 224 56 54 82 e-mail:

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European Commission EUR 22461 EN DG JRC Institute for Energy Co-firing of Biomass with Coal: Constraints and Role of Biomass Pre-Treatment Authors: Anna Maciejewska Hubert Veringa Johan Sanders Stathis Peteves Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities 2006 100 pp. 21 x 29.7 cm EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Series; ISSN 1018-5593 ISBN 92-79-02989-4

Abstract There are many successful commercial co-firing installations, however various constraints can be encountered, especially in direct co-firing mode (which is the most common among co-firing systems), and with tendency to increase biomass/coal ratio, and use low quality biomass. These constraints can include handling, storage, milling and feeding problems, deposit formation (slagging and fouling), agglomeration, corrosion, erosion, and ash utilization issues. Most of the co-firing challenges originate from biomass properties The problems associated with co-firing systems can be addressed by various measures. One of them is application of biomass pre-treatment, which is an interesting option, as by modifying biomass properties, it addresses problems at their source. The aim of this work is to provide an overview of possible constraints that can be encountered in systems cofiring coal with biomass, and identify biomass pre-treatment options with potential to address them. This was done by investigation of the literature. The pre-treatment options discussed include sizing, drying, washing, pelletisation, torrefaction and pyrolysis of biomass, as well as combinations of some of them. The most advanced form of bio-feedstock currently used in co-firing on commercial scale is biomass pretreated into pellets. An interesting option is pyrolysis of biomass into pyrolysis oil, however this option cannot be applied in direct co-firing systems. It seems that biomass pre-treatment by combination of pelletisation with torrefaction might be an interesting option, as it could to even larger extent (than in case of conventional pellets) mitigate the problems related to high transportation and storage costs, handling, and milling of raw biomass. The only single pre-treatment option with potential to mitigate problems (if encountered) with bed agglomeration, deposit formation (slagging and fouling) and corrosion was identified to be biomass leaching (washing). It is not possible to define one universal pre-treatment option for biomass for co-firing purposes. It needs to be decided on an individual basis, depending on various elements such as quality of raw biomass, type of cofiring system, desired co-firing ratio, and others.

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