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An investigation of co-combustion municipal sewage sludge with biomass in a 20kW BFB combustor under air-fired and oxygen-enriched condition

Kumar, Rajesh, Singh, Ravi Inder
Waste management 2017 v.70 pp. 114-126
Prosopis juliflora, biomass, burning, combustion, combustion efficiency, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, fly ash, hulls, oxygen, scanning electron microscopy, sewage sludge, spectroscopy, thermogravimetry, waste management, wood
The behavior of municipal sewage sludge (MSS) with biomass (Guar stalks (GS), Mustard Husk (MH), Prosopis Juliflora Wood (PJW)) has been investigated in a 20kW bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) combustor under both air-fired (A-F) and oxygen-enriched (O-E) conditions. The work presented is divided into three parts, first part cover the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), second part cover the experimental investigation of BFB combustor, and third part covers the ash analysis.TGA was performed with a ratio of 50%MSS/50%biomass (GS, MH, PJW) and results show that 50%MSS/50%GS has highest combustion characteristic factor (CCF). The experimental investigation of BFB combustor was performed for two different ratios of MSS/biomass (50%/50% and 25%/75%) and the combustion characteristics of blends were distinctive under both A-F and O-E condition. Despite 50%MSS/50%GS showing the highest combustion performance in TGA analysis, it formed agglomerates during burning in BFB. Due to this formation of large amount of agglomerates, de-fluidization was observed in the combustor bed after 65–75min in A-F conditions. The rate of de-fluidization increased under O-E condition. The de-fluidization problem disappeared when the share of MSS was reduced to 25%, but small amounts of the agglomerate were still present in the bed. With oxygen enhancement, the combustion efficiency of BFB combustor was improved and flue gasses were found within permissible limit. The maximum conceivable combustion efficiency (97.1%) for BFB combustor was accomplished by using 50% MSS/50%PJW under O-E condition. Results show that a ratio of 25%MSS/75%biomass combusted successfully inside the BFB combustor and extensive work is required for efficient utilization of significant share of MSS with biomass. SEM/EDS analyses were performed for agglomerate produced and for the damaged heater to study the surface morphology and compositions. The elemental heterogeneity of fly ash generated during MSS/biomass combustion was analyzed using Microwave Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (MP-AES).