What is biomass?

Combustion File no.: 23 Author: Johan Hustad/Maria Barrio Version no.: 2 Referee: Pia Kilpinen Date:17-10-2000 Source: Authors

1. Definition
Biomass is all the matter that can be derived directly or indirectly from plant photosynthesis. It is a renewable energy that could replace the use of some fossil fuels, for example coal. This combustion file explains some differences between biomass and coal and compares several biomass types.

2.Differences between coal and biomass
Coal contains between 75-90% carbon while biomass carbon content is about 50%. This means that the heating value of biomass is lower. Biomass fuels contain more volatile components and are more reactive than coal: at 500 °C about 85% by weight of the wood material is normally converted into gaseous compounds. These differences are explained by the O/C and H/C ratios of each fuel, shown in the Van Krevelen diagram:

Figure 1: H/C and O/C ratio for several solid fuels (Van Krevelen diagram).

3.Biomass types
Biomass resources can be grouped into various categories such as: • Wood residues (forest residues, paper and furniture industry) • Urban wood waste/demolition wood (from packing, construction)

9 1. ash and chemical composition.07 0.3 H 6.9 18.4 18.54 0.15 0.25 5.16 6.59 17. .94 18.2 22. If the ratio is below 0.2.03 Cl 0.03 0. especially nitrogen.• Agricultural residues (from crops.6 43. The range in ash content and composition for bituminous coal is also given in the table for comparison.2 19.41 0.13 13.83 18.48 0. Agricultural residues is an important biomass resource and especially straw is a major contributor to biomass combustion in larger plants.42 MJ/kg Composition wt% (daf) C 49.61 1.37 15. food processing and animals) • Dedicated energy crops Wood residues is the most important biomass resource.3 2.18 0.1 49.17 O 44. Table 2 gives an overview of properties of biomass ashes with a special emphasis on erosion and corrosion potential of these ashes.3 42.04 6.54 17. Table 1 gives an overview of composition properties of the most important biomass resources of interest in large scale combustion systems.6 49.10 0. Fuels having the ratio(Na2O + K2O/SiO2) above 2 require special precautions to avoid fouling problems.01 0.7 45.25 6.92 HHV 19.5 42.004 Table 1: Proximate and ultimate analysis of several biofuels.4 48.4 43.40 S 0. The great variations in moisture content. Wood and wood residues Agricultural residues Energy crops Clean Bark from Straw Grass Waste-/demolition Salix Unit wood spruce from wheat Reed canary wood Moisture 50 55-65 55 60 15-20 50 wt% of wet fuel Ash 1.71 8.00 6.75 MJ/kg LHV 15.03 0. sulphur and chlorine give rise to large variations in combustion behaviour and pollutant emissions from combustion systems unless this is carefully considered in the design and operation of the furnaces and boilers in addition to implementing a proper cleaning system for a particular plant.15 0.18 wt% of dry fuel Fixed-C 13.08 0. Dedicated energy crops is the future largest source of biomass energy.85 0.03 0.8 50.4 19.07 0. then precautions must be taken to avoid erosion which can occur from the high silica content.1 51.34 4.65 18.65 17.1 N 0.46 17.

55 2.43 13.42 0.00 8.50 15. .30 3.29 9.30 19.42 1.10 Annual ryegrass b Bituminous coal 5-13 5-35 10-35 1-20 0.Ash(%) Potential erosion Rice husk Bagasse.55 6.19 0.9 0. biomass types.62 4.1 2. biofuel.81 41. coal.10 3.45 0.60 Sunflower seed husks 4.70 40.90 1.30 5.23 1.06 2.4 3.48 12. List of Keywords: Biomass.41 0.20 0.00 6.50 0.77 0.30 14.23 0.30 11.50 5.03 8.9 13.00 53.2.57 0.64 3.31 6.40 1.10 0.85 5.20 3.60 14.30 3.88 4.30 2.93 23.69 3.00 6.59 4.10 2.08 0.0 2. pulverised combustors.35 0.0 4.00 2.49 3.00 16.00 7.65 Bases Na 2O 0.60 0.60 5. ratio.95 13.66 23.50 0.6 3.87 5.80 4.08 K 2O 1.18 16.45 0.11 0.0 0. bubbling and circulating fluidised beds.56 78.09 1.71 0.30 9.85 1.62 5. vibrating grates.41 10.40 26.10 1.27 12.81 7. Insufficient information to calculate the ratio.03 5.48 1.10 5.66 21.60 54.00 MgO 0.01 0.00 22.45 7.30 6. natural gas).00 1.35 3.10 9. cigar combustor(straw).80 CaO 0. oil.3 34.00 5.99 1.21 2.60 8.20 Potential fouling a Cotton stalks 4.09 0.90 3.80 1.20 3.76 4.30 3.52 5.40 2.20 1.40 5.05 25. the erosion may occur unless precautions are taken.90 Oak 1. biomass composition.4 7.00 39.30 16.92 10.0 2.22 3.6 0.20 79.96 23.5 4.59 0.00 5.10 1.50 3.52 0.20 7. ash composition.35 20-60 Table 2: Ash analysis of several biofuels.25 0.10 14.5 2. Hawaii Construction wood Wheat straw Rice straw Pine bark Demolition wood Whole tree average Manure Western hog fuel Softwood bark Jack pine Eastern hemlock Almond shells Oat straw Tree prinsings Walnut shells a Acids Fe 2O 3 Al2O 3 P2O 5 TiO 2 0.10 8.10 4.20 42.60 Ratio a 0.08 0.0 0.50 1.21 34.00 15.94 2. b taken.00 6.50 SiO 2 95.9 1.00 1.09 0.41 5. The most important techniques for biomass combustion are: -Small scale: wood stoves.70 3.10 4.2 0.60 2.00 25.60 37.30 14.4 0.5 3.30 12.4 3.20 2.14 40.50 5.99 35.26 4.01 0.87 6. Glossary of terms used in Combustion File Renewable energy: Energy from a inexhaustible resource and whose use has small negative impact on the environment if proper technology is used.80 39.00 2.80 6. underfeed stokers -Large scale: moving grates.90 4.00 51.30 1.00 8. tiled stoves.37 57.20 2. 30.8 4.60 0.00 3.80 16.88 3.60 12.86 4.4 8.4 3.87 1.00 10.50 13.3-4 1-4 a Fuel types of a ratio [(NaO + K2O)/SiO2] above 2 require special precautions to avoid fouling 2 problems.30 3.30 12.6 1.00 41.00 Hardwood bark 3.90 7.00 2.40 Cotton gin trash b 9.50 1.30 1. If the ratio is below 0.10 0. Fossil fuel: Organic fuels obtained from organic matter natural maturation during long periods of time (coal.50 0. fouling.50 77.

Lower Heating Value): Maximum amount of energy that can be obtained from the combustion of a fuel.net) © IFRF 2000 . Dedicated energy crops: Plants grown specifically to be used as biofuel. The information contained in this Combustion File is derived from the IFRF Combustion Handbook (http://www.Heating value (Higher Heating Value. Fixed-C: Fixed carbon.ifrf.handbook. solid residue after the release of the volatile components of the biofuel (ash free).