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Combustion of single biomass particles in air and in oxy-fuel conditions

Riaza, Juan, Khatami, Reza, Levendis, Yiannis A., Álvarez, Lucía, Gil, María V., Pevida, Covadonga, Rubiera, Fernando, Pis, José J.
Biomass and bioenergy 2014 v.64 pp. 162-174
air, biomass, carbon dioxide, coal, combustion, extinction, olives, oxygen, sawdust, sugarcane bagasse, temperature
The combustion behaviors of four different pulverized biomasses were evaluated in the laboratory. Single particles of sugarcane bagasse, pine sawdust, torrefied pine sawdust and olive residue were burned in a drop-tube furnace, set at 1400 K, in both air and O2/CO2 atmospheres containing 21, 30, 35, and 50% oxygen mole fractions. High-speed and high-resolution images of single particles were recorded cinematographically and temperature–time histories were obtained pyrometrically. Combustion of these particles took place in two phases. Initially, volatiles evolved and burned in spherical envelope flames of low-luminosity; then, upon extinction of these flames, char residues ignited and burned in brief periods of time. This behavior was shared by all four biomasses of this study, and only small differences among them were evident based on their origin, type and pre-treatment. Volatile flames of biomass particles were much less sooty than those of previously burned coal particles of analogous size and char combustion durations were briefer. Replacing the background N2 gas with CO2, i.e., changing from air to an oxy-fuel atmosphere, at 21% O2 impaired the intensity of combustion; reduced the combustion temperatures and lengthened the burnout times of the biomass particles. Increasing the oxygen mole fraction in CO2 to 28–35% restored the combustion intensity of the single biomass particles to that in air.