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An evaluation of biomass co-ring in Europe

Fouad Al-Mansour
a,
*, Jaroslaw Zuwala
b
a
Jo zef Stefan Institute, Energy Efciency Centre, Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
b
IChPW Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal, Zamkowa 1, 41-803 Zabrze, Poland
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 26 November 2007
Received in revised form
3 June 2009
Accepted 6 January 2010
Available online 7 February 2010
Keywords:
Biomass
Co-ring
Evaluation methodology
Bioenergy
a b s t r a c t
Reduction of the emissions of greenhouses gases, increasing the share of renewable energy
sources (RES) in the energy balance, increasing electricity production from renewable
energy sources and decreasing energy dependency represent the main goals of all current
strategies in Europe. Biomass co-ring in large coal-based thermal power plants provides
a considerable opportunity to increase the share of RES in the primary energy balance and
the share of electricity from RES in gross electricity consumption in a country. Biomass-
coal co-ring means reducing CO
2
and SO
2
, emissions and it may also reduce NO
x
emis-
sions, and also represents a near-term, low-risk, low-cost and sustainable energy devel-
opment. Biomass-coal co-ring is the most effective measure to reduce CO
2
emissions,
because it substitutes coal, which has the most intensive CO
2
emissions per kWh electricity
production, by biomass, with a zero net emission of CO
2
. Biomass co-ring experience
worldwide are reviewed in this paper. Biomass co-ring has been successfully demon-
strated in over 150 installations worldwide for most combinations of fuels and boiler types
in the range of 50700 MWe, although a number of very small plants have also been
involved. More than a hundred of these have been in Europe. A key indicator for the
assessment of biomass co-ring is intrduced and used to evaluate all available biomass co-
ring technologies.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Environmental protection represents one of the major stra-
tegic objectives for all countries. The obligations of the Kyoto
Protocol to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) by 8% by 2012,
relative to the base year 1990, and its high energy dependency
(more than 50% [1]) is forcing the EU to achieve a doubling of
the share of renewable energy sources by 2010 (from 6% of
total consumption in 1996 to 12% in 2010) as the target of the
EU strategy [2] and the Directive adopted to increase the share
of electricity production from RES in its electricity consump-
tion [3]. The European Commission has been nding that the
share of renewable energy is unlikely to exceed 10% by 2010
and proposes in its Renewable Energy Roadmap [4] a binding
target of increasing the level of renewable energy in the EU
overall mix from less than 7% today to 20% by 2020 [4,5].
The Directive on renewable energy in electricity generation
provides the framework for electricity from biomass and the
Biomass ActionPlan [6] states that electricity can be generated
from all types of biomass. Several reliable technologies are
available. These technologies can be used to co-re
biomass, by mixing it with coal or natural gas, or to run free-
standing power stations.
Biomass-coal co-ring means reducing CO
2
and SO
2
emis-
sions and it may also reduce NO
x
emissions [7,8] and repre-
sents a near-term, low-risk, low-cost and sustainable energy
development. Biomass-coal co-ring is the most effective
measure to reduce CO
2
emissions, because it is the
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 386 41974810; fax: 386 1 5885 377.
E-mail address: fouad.al-mansour@ijs.si (F. Al-Mansour).
Avai l abl e at www. sci encedi r ect . com
ht t p: / / www. el sevi er . com/ l ocat e/ bi ombi oe
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9
0961-9534/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.01.004
substitution of coal (which represents the most intensive CO
2
emissions per kWh of electricity production) by biomass with
zero net emission of CO
2
.
One of the research activities on biomass co-ring is the
NETBIOCOF project, co-funded by the European Commission
under the 6th Framework Programme. The objective of the
NETBIOCOF [9] (Integrated European Network for Biomass Co-
ring) project is to promote biomass co-ring and to foster the
uptake of innovative technologies to expand the use of
biomass co-ring in new and existing power plants in EU
member countries. One of the activities of the project is to
review (state of the arts) the co-ring of biomass with fossil
fuels [10] and the identication of best practices in biomass
co-ring in Europe [11]. This paper is based on the results of
both documents (reports).
2. Biomass co-ring plants in Europe: state
of the arts and geographical distribution
Co-combustion is practised with different types and amounts
of biomass wastes in different combustion and gasication
technologies, congurations and plant sizes. Currently, direct
co-ring is the most commonly applied conguration. The
typical conguration applied in Finland is a uidised bed
combustion installation within the range of about 20 to
310 MW where different biomass wastes from the wood
industry are directly co-red, eventually with recycled refuse
fuel (REF), refuse derived fuel (RDF), coal or oil. Here, the
installations need to be fuel exible, one reason for this being
that sparsely populated countries make specialized mass
burning installations uneconomic. In Sweden, there are
a large number of grate red boilers in the range 130 MW
which are operated for district heating (mostly ring
biomass only, but it often means co-combustion of different
types of residues). In the paper and pulp industries, there are
both uidised and grate furnaces that burn mixtures of bark,
sludge, wood residues, oil and some coal.
Worldwide, the current installed capacity of coal red
power plants amounts to some 800 GWe. Thus, each
percentage of coal that could be substituted by biomass in all
coal red power plants would result in a biomass capacity of
8 GWe, and a reduction of approx. 60 Mton of CO
2
. At a typical
co-ring ratio of 5% on an energy basis, this would correspond
to a global potential of approx. 40 GWe, leading to an emission
reduction of around 300 Mton CO
2
/year. About 200 million
tons of biomass would be needed to full this demand.
Co-ring biomass with coal in traditional coal-red boilers
is becoming increasingly popular, as it capitalizes on the large
investment and infrastructure associated with the existing
fossil-fuel-based power systems while traditional pollutants
(SO
x
, NO
x
, etc.) and the net greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, etc.)
emissions are decreased.
The co-ring of biomass with coal in traditional coal-red
boilers makes use of the large investment and extensive
infrastructure associated with the existing fossil-fuel-based
power systems, while requiring only a relatively modest
capital investment, typically up to $50$300 per kW of
biomass capacity. These costs compare very favourably with
any other available renewable energy option.
Power plant operating costs are, in most cases, higher for
biomass than for coal, due to the higher delivered cost of the
fuel, particularly if energy crops are used. Even when the
biomass is nominally free at the point of production, for
instance in the case of some dry agricultural residues, the
costs associated with collection, transportation, preparation,
and on-site handling can increase the cost per unit heat input
to the boiler to a point where it rivals, and often exceeds, the
cost of coal. When compared to alternative renewable energy
sources, however, biomass co-ring is normally signicantly
cheaper, and co-ring has the advantage that it can be
implemented relatively quickly.
For most coal-red power plants, the conversion efcien-
cies are commonly in the range 3038% (higher heating value
basis). These efciency levels are much higher than those
associated with smaller, conventional, dedicated biomass
power-only systems and rival or exceed the estimated
78
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6
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t
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Fig. 1 Distribution biomass power plants worldwide [12].
b i oma s s a nd b i o e ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 621
efciencies of most of the proposed, advanced biomass-based
power systems. The addition of biomass to a coal-red boiler
has only a modest impact on the overall generation efciency
of the power plant, depending principally on the moisture
content of the biomass.
Most biomass materials have lower ash contents than
steam coals, and there is a corresponding reduction in the
quantities of solid residues from the plant. Ancillary benets
of co-ring may also include a reduced dependency on
imported fossil fuels, and there may be the potential to
develop local biofuel supply chains, which can benet local
rural economies. It is clear, therefore, that biomass co-ring
technologies offer one of the best short and long-term means
of reducing greenhouse gas emissions frompower generation,
but are only applicable where coal ring plays a signicant
role in the electricity supply. The development of small,
dedicated biomass-energy technologies will also be required,
for application where co-ring is not an option.
The R&D demands arising from co-ring cover the proper
selection and further development of appropriate co-
combustion technologies for different fuels, possibilities of
NO
x
reduction by fuel staging, problems concerning the de-
activation of catalysts, characterisation and possible uti-
lisation of ashes from co-combustion plants, as well as
corrosion and ash deposition problems.
3. Operational experience worldwide
Biomass co-ring has been successfully demonstrated in over
228 installations
1
worldwide for most combinations of fuels
and boiler types in the range 50700 MWe, although a number
of very small plants have also been involved. More than
a hundred of these were in Europe. In the United States there
have been over 40 commercial demonstrations and the
remainder have been mainly in Australia. A broad
combination of fuels, such as residues, energy crops, herba-
ceous and woody biomasses have been co-red in pulverised
coal combustion (PCC), stoker and cyclone boilers. The
proportion of biomass has ranged from 1% to 20%. Experience
with biomass co-ring in PCC boilers has demonstrated that
co-ring woody biomass resulted in a modest decrease in
boiler efciency but no loss of boiler capacity. There was,
however, a considerable reduction of SO
2
, NO
x
and mercury
emissions.
Though herbaceous biomass has been co-red in several
plant worldwide, its higher inorganic matter content results in
a higher chance of slagging and fouling. Co-ring herbaceous
fuels tends to be more difcult and costly than other fuels, but
it is possible to co-re such fuels if there is a regulatory
incentive to do so. Throughout the world, coal is used exten-
sively to generate electricity and process heat for industrial
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
10 100 1,000 10,000
Total fuel input (MW)
)
t
a
e
h

%
(

e
g
a
t
n
e
c
r
e
p

g
n
i
r
i
f
o
c
Grate
BFB
CFB
PF
Fig. 2 Percentage of biomass co-red as part of total fuel
in different power plants with experience in biomass
co-ring [12].
Fig. 3 Biomass co-ring technologies. a) Direct co-ring. b)
Indirect co-ring. c) Parallel co-ring.
1
The IEA biomass co-ring database included only 152 plants in
2007, but in the database now (May 2009) information for 228
biomass co-ring plants [12] is included.
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 622
applications. There are signicant numbers of coal-red
utility-scale power plants currently installed in some 80
countries throughout the world. For most of these countries,
coal will continue to gure signicantly in any future expan-
sion of the electricity market required to meet increased
consumer demand. In the industrial arena, coal is used as
a source of energy for large energy intensive industries such
as paper production, cement manufacture, food processing
and steel manufacture. Again, there are large numbers of coal-
red boiler plants encompassing a range of technologies
already installed throughout the world. The extensive use of
coal poses signicant world environmental problems. Power
stations and industrial boilers emit substantial quantities of
CO
2
, which can contribute to global warning. In addition, they
contribute signicant emissions of acid gas species such as
NO
x
and SO
2
. The ash produced from coal burning also
requires disposal in an environmentally acceptable manner.
There is now considerable interest in the utilisation of
biomass and municipal/industrial wastes within existing
coal-red plant. The use of biomass and wastes in such plants
is now perceived by governments and industry as a viable
option. This area is now the subject of a number of ongoing
research activities within the European Union and the USA.
The different sources of statistics on biomass/waste reserves
illustrate that there is an enormous potential reserve of
biomass and wastes that could be utilised for energy
production. The huge installed capacity of existing coal-red
power plant consumes 50,000 PJ of coal each year; if all were to
be co-red at a rate of 10%(thermal), this would require 5000 PJ
of biomass/waste per year. The proximity of biomass and
wastes to power stations or other potential co-utilisation sites
will inuence the scope of the market. On the basis of this and
the biomass/waste fuel production potential, the co-ring
potential has been estimated at 500 PJ per year in existing
coal-red generating capacity, equivalent to one tenth of
existing capacity being modied to take 10% thermal input of
biomass. New plants could increase this level further.
Industry and commerce also account for signicant coal use
(e.g. 8% of OECD coal use and 30% of Chinas coal use,
excluding iron and steel production). Introduction of a co-
utilisation element could result in signicantly increased
biomass/waste utilisation, perhaps to around 50 PJ or more
per year.
There has been remarkably rapid progress over the past
510 years in the development of the co-utilisation of biomass
materials in coal-red boiler plants. Several plants have been
retrotted for demonstration purposes, or are involved in the
commercial co-ring of biomass.
Fig. 4 Coal based power plant at St. Andra , Austria.
Fig. 5 Thermal power plant at Zeltweg, Styria-Austria.
Fig. 6 Thermal power plant at Lahti (gasier and PC boiler
systems), Finland.
Fig. 7 Thermal power plant at Ensted, Denmark.
b i oma s s a nd b i o e ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 623
The majority are pulverised coal boilers, including tangen-
tially red, wall red, and cyclone red units. Bubbling and
circulatinguidisedbedboilersandstoker boilershavealsobeen
used. The co-ring activities have involved all of the commer-
cially signicant solid fossil fuels, including lignite, sub-bitumi-
nous coals, bituminous coals, anthracites, and petroleumcoke.
Data based on the IEA Bioenergy Task 32 database [12] on
the number of biomass co-ring power plants by country
worldwide (including in Europe) are shown in Fig. 1.
From these data it is clear that 228 fuel mixed-red plants
globally already have experience with biomass co-ring, at
least on a trial basis. Most of these plants are located in Finn-
land, USA, Germany, UK and Sweden, though in several cases
experienceintheUSAis limitedtotrials anddemonstrations. A
geographical overview of these plants is shown in Fig. 1.
As of 2008, about 40 of these plants were co-ring biomass
on a commercial basis. These plants are mainly located in
Finland and Sweden (mostly uidised beds), as well as
Denmark and the Netherlands (pulverised coal red power
plants). This resulted in a replacement of 3.5 Mton of coal and
hence avoided the release of around 10 Mton of CO
2
. The
estimated technical and nancially feasible potential to
replace coal is about 30 times higher.
The amount of biomass that is co-red in different plants
varies. Pulverised coal boilers are typically much larger in terms
of MWfuel input requirements; thereforetheamount of biomass
requiredfor a certainco-ring percentage is usually muchlarger
than that for, e.g. a bubbling uidised bed (BFB) boiler.
Achieved co-ring levels for different types of power plants
are shown in Fig. 2.
4. Successful experience in Europe
4.1. Biomass co-ring technologies
There are three basic co-ring options for biomass materials
in coal-red boilers (Fig. 3), and all of these options have been
demonstrated on the industrial scale:
Direct co-ring,
Indirect co-ring,
Parallel co-ring.
4.1.1. Direct co-ring
Direct co-ring is the least expensive, most straightforward,
and most commonly applied approach. The biomass and the
coal are burned in the coal boiler furnace, using the same or
separate mills and burners (Fig. 3a), depending principally on
the biomass fuel characteristics. This is by far the most
commonly applied co-ring conguration as it enables co-
ring percentages up to approx 3%onan energy basis, without
signicant investment costs. This approach has been applied
in the power plant at St. Andra in Austria (Fig. 4, 124 MWe, 3%
wood chips).
4.1.2. Indirect co-ring
It is possible to install a biomass gasier to convert the solid
biomass into a fuel gas, which can be burned in the coal boiler
furnace (Fig. 3b). This approach can offer a high degree of fuel
exibility, and the fuel gas can be cleaned prior to combustion
to minimise the impact of the products of combustion of the
fuel gas on the performance and integrity of the boiler. This
approach has been applied several times so far, for instance,
in the Zeltweg plant (Fig. 5) in Austria (137 MWe, 3% wood
biomass) and the Lahti plant (Fig. 6) in Finland (167 MWe, 17%
biomass).
4.1.3. Parallel co-ring
It is also possible to install a completely separate biomass
boiler and utilise the steam produced in the coal power plant
steam system (Fig. 3c). This approach has been applied in the
Ensted power plant (660 MWe, wood chips and straw) in
Denmark (Fig. 7).
4.2. Assessment of the technology key indicators
A general assessment of the technology regarding its tech-
nological value is based on the sum of points given in the
respective categories.
A points system has been dened to enable comparative
assessment of the technologies (scale from 1 to 3; 3 represents
the best result whereas one point is given for the worst result).
All types of technology have been assessed against the
following parameters:
Environmental impact this indicator denes the impact of
technology implementation on pollutant emission. 1 point was
given if emission parameters deteriorated after the imple-
mentationof thetechnology; 2pointsif emissionsdidnot change
or only CO
2
and SO
2
were reduced due to biomass combustion; 3
points were given for the reduction of NO
x
emission.
Applicability this indicator denes the ease of technology
application to newly built as well as existing installations
(retrot). 1 point was given to relatively complex technical
solutions that require modications of the furnace; 2 points to
relatively complex solutions that do not require modications
of the furnace.
Operational experience this indicator denes the level of
operational experience for every group of technologies. 1 point
was given to technologies that have been tested experimentally
Table 1 Technology assessment table (key indicators).
Technique value Environmental impact Applicability Remarks
New plant Retrotable
Sab..g a b c
Operational experience Efciency Economics Biomass share
d e f g
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 624
or have only few industrial applications; 3 points were given to
technologies that have been very widely used in industry.
Efciency this indicator denes the impact of co-ring on
general process efciency. 1 point was given for negative
impact on boiler efciency; 2 points were given if an instal-
lation was neutral as regards boiler efciency; 3 points were
given if boiler efciency was improved.
Economics this indicator denes the total of capital and
operational costs. 1 point was given to very expensive tech-
nologies (both as regards capital and operational costs); 2
points were given to technologies characterized by high
capital cost and relatively low operational costs; 3 points were
given to low investment technologies also characterized by
low operational costs.
Biomass share this indicator denes the total biomass
share in the overall quota of all fuels burnt in a given instal-
lation. 1 point was given for low biomass share; 3 points for
high biomass share.
All explained above the indicators were collected in cor-
responding tables (for each technology). An example of
a technology assessment table is shown below (Table 1).
4.3. Co-ring technologies assessment
In order to conduct a comparative assessment of the tech-
nologies by the use of the introduced key indicators system,
technology sheets were evaluated.
They comprise important information such as technology
description, simplied process layouts, the implementation
scale and what is of the most importance the technique
value based on the individual score system.
4.3.1. Identication of successful experience in co-ring
4.3.1.1. Technology: direct co-ring in pulverised
fuel (PF) boilers.
4.3.1.1.1. Technology process description. Direct co-ring
which involves mixing the biomass with coal in the fuel yard,
and transporting the blend through the normal coal system
(crushers, bunkers and pulverisers, if PF boilers are used). The
biofuel can also be prepared separately from coal, and pneu-
matically or mechanically fed into the boiler without
impacting the fossil fuel delivery system; fuel mixing then
takes place in the combustion chamber (Fig. 3a).
Technology assessment table and sample application in EU
for direct co-ring in pulverised fuel (PF) boilers is shown in
Table 2.
4.3.1.2. Technology: direct co-ring in circulating uidised bed
(CFB) boilers.
4.3.1.2.1. Technology process description. Circulating ui-
dised bed (CFB) combustion differs fromBFB in two ways. The
bed material particle size is 0.10.6 mm and the uidising
Table 2 Technology assessment table for direct co-ring in pulverised fuel (PF) boilers.
Key indicators
Technique value Environmental impact Applicability Remarks
New plant Retrotable
17 2 3 3
Operational
experience
Efciency Economics Biomass share
3 2 3 1
Country Location Plant name Output
(Mwe)
Biomas
share
(heat)
Primary
fuel
Cored
fuel(s)
Sample Applications EU Countries
Austria ST. Andra ST. Andra 124 3% Pulverised coal Wood chips
Denmark Aarhus Studstrupvaerket #1 150 20% Pulverised coal Straw
Denmark Aarhus Studstrupvaerket #4 350 20% Pulverised coal Straw
Germany Lu bbenau 100 7% wt Lignite Wood, straw
The
Netherlands
Amsterdam Hemwegcentrale 8 600 4% Pulverised coal Sewage sludge
The
Netherlands
Borssele Borssele 12 403 Pulverised coal Kernels, paper
sludge, shells,
bers
The
Netherlands
Geertruidenberg Amercentrale 8 600 8% Pulverised coal Paper sludge
The
Netherlands
Maasvlakte,
Rotterdam
Maasvlaktecentrale
1 2
2 518 Pulverised coal Biomass pellets
The
Netherlands
Nijmegen Gelderland 602 Pulverised coal Pulverised wood
UK Tilbury 1085 Pulverised coal Wood
Poland Skawina Skawina 590 10% Pulverised coal Sawdust,
coffee shells
Poland Rybnik Rybnik 1800 10% Pulverised coal Sawdust, chips
Poland Polaniec Electrabel
Polaniec
1800 10% Pulverised coal Sawdust, chips
b i oma s s a nd b i o e ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 625
Table 3 Technology assessment table for direct co-ring in circulating uidised bed (CFB) boilers.
Key indicators
Technique value Environmental impact Applicability Remarks
New plant Retrotable
16 2 3 2
Operational experience Efciency Economics Biomass share
2 2 3 2
Country Location Plant name Output
(MWe)
Output
(MWth)
Biomas
share
(heat) %
Primary
fuel
Cored fuel(s)
Sample applications EU Countries
Austria Ebensee 38 Coal Lignite, gas, oil,
wood
Finland Kokkola 98 Coal Peat, RDF, wood
Finland Kuhmo 18 Coal Peat, wood waste
Finland Lieska 8 22 Coal Peat, bark, sawdust
Finland Mikkeli 84 Coal Lignite, wood
waste, oil, gas
Finland Rauhalahti
municipal
CHP
100% Coal Peat, wood waste
Finland Rauma 160 Coal Peat, sludge, bark
Norway Sande 26 Coal Wood, RDF
Spain La Pereda Hunosa power
station
50 Coal Coal wastes,
wood waste
Sweden Fors Stora Enso
Fors Mill
9.6 55 90% Coal Wood, bark
Sweden Norrkoping 125 Coal Wood
Sweden Nukopoing 80 Coal Wood, peat
Sweden O

stersund 25 Coal Wood, peat,


bark, wood
waste, oil
Table 4 Technology assessment table for direct co-ring in bubbling uidised bed (BFB) combustion boilers.
Key indicators
Technique value Environmental
impact
Applicability Remarks
New
plant
Retrotable
17 2 3 2
Operational
experience
Efciency Economics Biomass share
2 2 3 3
Country Location Plant name Output
(MWe)
Output
(MWth)
Biomas
share
(heat) %
Primary
fuel
Cored
fuel(s)
Sample applications EU Countries
Finland Lohja Lohja Paper Mill 36 Coal Wood waste,
paper waste
Finland Outokumpu Outokumpo Oy 17.5, 24 Coal Peat, wood
waste
Finland Pieksamaki Pieksamaki District
Heating
20 Coal Peat, wood
waste, HFO
Finland Rauma Rauma Paper Mill 60 Coal Bark, sludges,
bre wastes
Finland Seinajoki Seinajoki Energy 20 Coal Peat, wood
waste, HFO
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 626
velocity is 46 ms
1
. This changes the uidising conditions
so that part of the bed material is carried out from the bed,
and transits through the furnace to the second pass of the
boiler. These particles exiting the furnace are separated from
the ue gas ow by a cyclone or other separation methods
such as a U beam, and circulated back to the uidised bed.
The separation can be done in the middle of the second pass
and, in part, also at the outlet of the boiler pass, where
electrostatic precipitators and fabric lters can also be used
(Fig. 3a).
Technology assessment table and sample application in EU
for direct co-ring in circulating uidised bed (CFB) boilers is
shown in Table 3.
4.3.1.3. Technology: direct co-ring in bubbling uidised bed
(BFB) combustion boilers.
4.3.1.3.1. Technology process description. Bubbling uidised
bed (BFB) combustion is a modern combustion technology
especially suitable for inhomogeneous biofuels. A BFB
consists of a 0.51.5 m high bed on the uidising air distribu-
tion plate. The uidising velocity is about 1 ms
1
. The density
of the bubbling bed is about 1000 kg m
3
. Bed materials used
can be sand, ash, fuel, dolomite, limestone, etc. The particle
size distribution in the uidising bed material is typically
within 0.51.5 mm. Smaller particles will be carried out with
the uidising gas ow, and larger particles will sink onto the
distribution plate (Fig. 3a).
Table 5 Technology assessment table for direct co-ring in grate ring boilers.
Key indicators
Technique value Environmental impact Applicability Remarks
New plant Retrotable
12 1 2 2
Operational experience Efciency Economics Biomass share
1 1 2 3
Country Location Plant
name
Output
(MWe)
Output
(MWth)
Biomas
share
(heat) %
Primary
fuel
Cored
fuel(s)
Sample applications EU Countries
Germany Schwandorf 280 Lignite Wood, straw
pellets
Sweden Linko ping Tekniska
Verken
Ltd 1
Coal Rubber waste
Sweden Linko ping Tekniska
Verken
Ltd 2
Coal
Table 6 Technology assessment table for indirect co-ring.
Key indicators
Technique value Environmental impact Applicability Remarks
New plant Retrotable
18 3 3 3
Operational experience Efciency Economics Biomass share
2 3 1 3
Country Location Plant name Output
(MWe)
Biomas
share
(heat)
Primary
fuel
Cored
fuel(s)
Sample applications EU Countries
Austria Zeltweg Biococomb 137 3% heat Pulverised Polish
hard coal
Bark, sawdust,
wood chips
Belgium Ruien Ruien 540 Pulverised coal Wood chips
from recycled
fresh
wood, bark
and hard and soft
board residues
The
Netherlands
Geertruidenberg Amercentrale 9 600 Pulverised coal Waste wood
b i oma s s a nd b i o e ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 627
Technology assessment table and sample application in EU
for direct co-ring in bubbling uidised bed (BFB) combustion
boilers is shown in Table 4.
4.3.1.4. Technology: direct co-ring in grate ring boilers.
4.3.1.4.1. Technology process description. The typical oper-
ating principle in grate ring of coal may differ for co-
combustion of biomass. Sloped grates are typically used for
biofuels. They can be static or mechanically activated. If
travelling grates are used, a homogeneous layer is fed on it. As
an alternative, the fuel can also be fed onto the grate by a so-
called spreader located on the furnace wall (spreader-stoker
system). The spreader throws the fuel on the grate against the
direction of grate movement. Thus the longest burning time
can be achieved for the biggest particles, because they are
thrown over a longer distance close to the entry of the trav-
elling grate (Fig. 3a).
Technology assessment table and sample application in EU
for direct co-ring in grate ring boilers is shown in Table 5.
4.3.1.5. Technology: indirect co-ring.
4.3.1.5.1. Technology process description. Indirect co-ring
usually involves gasication of the supplementary fuel in
a separate gasication facility. The synthesis gases are then
co-combusted in the coal red furnace. Indirect co-ring is
more suited to fuels containing contaminants such as those
derived from municipal waste streams, since, the synthesis
gas can be puried prior to its use (Fig. 3b).
Technology assessment table and sample application in EU
for indirect co-ring is shown in Table 6.
4.3.1.6. Technology: parallel co-ring and others.
4.3.1.6.1. Technology process description. Co-ring in a hybrid
system is also called parallel co-ring. This involves a number
of boilers supplying steam for a common header and using
fossil and biomass/biogas in the combustion process. In such
an arrangement of boilers there should be no technical
possibility of supplying the biomass combusting boilers with
fossil fuels. Fuel preparation and feeding lines should be
physically independent (Fig. 3c).
Technology assessment table and sample application in EU
for parallel co-ring is shown in Table 7.
The evaluated value of the aggregated index for the tech-
nology assessment of different technologies is shown in Fig. 8.
The results of the evaluation show that the highest aggre-
gated value of the indicator is for bubbling uidised bed (BFB)
Table 7 Technology assessment table for parallel co-ring.
Key indicators
Technique value Environmental impact Applicability Remarks
New plant Retrotable
15 2 3 3
Operational experience Efciency Economics Biomass share
2 2 2 3
Country Location Plant name Output
(MWe)
Biomas share (heat) Primary fuel Cored fuel(s)
Sample applications EU Countries
Denmark ST. Andra Mabjerg 68 Pulverised coal Straw, wood chips
Poland Trzebinia Siersza 813 8% Pulverised coal Straw
Poland Konin Konin 233 10% Pulverised coal Chips, briquet
Poland Ostroleka Ostroleka 93,5 10% Pulverised coal Chips, barks
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
In-direct
cofiring
Direct
cofiring
BFB cofiring CFB cofiring Paralel
cofiring
Grate cofiring
Cofiring technological option
e
u
l
a
v

l
a
c
i
n
h
c
e
t
(

y
e
d
n
i

d
e
t
a
g
e
r
g
A
Fig. 8 Comparison of co-ring technologies according to the value of the technical indicator.
b i o ma s s a nd b i oe ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 628
technology as the best practice for biomass co-ring. This
result conrms the BATevaluation[13] putting this technology
at the top of all biomass co-ring technical options. At the
moment, fourteen BFB boiler units are operating worldwide
(Forsa Kiimassuo, Fortum Rauhalahti Jyva skyla , Fortum
Sa teri Valkeakoski, Vamy Oy Anjalankoski).
5. Conclusion
Biomass co-ring in large coal based thermal power plants
gives a considerable opportunity to increase the share of
renewable energy sources in the primary energy balance and
the share of electricity from RES in gross electricity
consumption in the country. Biomass-coal co-ring means
reducing CO
2
and SO
2
, emissions and it may also reduce NO
x
emissions and represents a near-term, low-risk, low-cost and
sustainable energy development.
Biomass co-ring has been successfully demonstrated in
over 150 installations worldwide for most combinations of
fuels and boiler types in the range 50700 MWe.
An evaluation of the current/implemented co-ring tech-
nology by key indicators showed that in-direct co-ring is the
best technology followed by direct co-ring in pulverised
uidised (PF), bubbling uidised bed (BFB), and circulating
uidised bed (CFB) boilers. The uidised bed combustion
process provides excellent conditions for burning a wide
variety of different fuels efciently with low emissions.
r e f e r e n c e s
[1] EuropeanCommission-Dg TREN. EUROPEANUNION Energy&
transport ingures, Statistical pocketbook, 2007/2008, http://ec.
europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/gures/pocketbook/doc/
2007/2007_pocketbook_all_en.pdf. 2004 edition.
[2] Communication from the Commission: Energy for the
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[6] Commission of the European Communities: Biomass action
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doc/2005_12_07_comm_biomass_action_plan_en.pdf.
[7] The European Bioenergy Networks (EUBIONET): Biomass co-
ring an efcient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/sectors/doc/bioenergy/
coring_eu_bionet.pdf.
[8] Larry Baxter, Jaap Koppejan. Biomass-coal co-combustion:
opportunity for affordable renewable energy. http://www.
ieabcc.nl/publications/paper_coring.pdf.
[9] Netbiocof Integrated European Network for Biomass Co-
ring; 6th FP, no. SES6-CT-020007- (SES6). http://www.
netbiocof.net/.
[10] First State-of-the-Art Report. Deliverable D14, Netbiocof
Project (no. SES6-CT-020007). http://www.netbiocof.net/.
[11] First report Best Practies in biomass co-ring in Europe,
Deliverable D15. NetbioCof Project (no. SES6-CT-020007).
http://www.netbiocof.net/.
[12] IEA Bioenergy Task 32: Biomass Combustion and Co-ring,
Database of Biomass Co-ring. http://www.ieabcc.nl/.
[13] Iea Clean Coal Centre Proles. Fuels for biomass co-ring.
November 2005. http://www.iea-coal.org.uk/publishor/
system/component_view.asp?LogDocId81393.
b i oma s s a nd b i o e ne r g y 3 4 ( 2 0 1 0 ) 6 2 0 6 2 9 629