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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Systematic Evaluation of the Fate of Phosphorus in Fluidized Bed Combustion of Biomass and Sewage Sludge

Falk, Joel; Skoglund, Nils; Grimm, Alejandro; Ohman, Marcus


Comprehensive knowledge concerning the behavior of phosphorus (P) during combustion is necessary to enable more efficient recovery of P from combustion ashes for agricultural purposes. To this end, parameters that influence the distribution and speciation of P in combustion ashes are important because they may influence which ash fractions are suitable for P recovery. This study aims to determine the fate of P as a result of fuel ash composition and chemical association in the fuel during fluidized bed combustion by a systemic review of previous work. The synthesis was performed by comparing scanning electron microscopy-energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction chemical analyses of bed ash, fly ash particles, and deposits from fluidized bed combustion of different blends of P-poor (logging residues or wheat straw) and P-rich (sewage sludge, dried distiller's grain with solubles, or phosphoric acid) fuels and additives. The blends were produced to have a similar ash composition but with a different P source. The distribution of P among ash fractions indicated that P is mainly found in the coarse ash fractions (bed and cyclone ash), irrespective of fuel ash composition or chemical association in the fuel. The chemical speciation of P in coarse ash fractions differed between biomass blends containing sewage sludge compared to blends with phosphoric acid or dried distiller's grain with solubles. Phosphates in the ash from the two sewage sludge blends included predominantly Ca with minor inclusion of other cations. In contrast, ashes from the blends with phosphoric acid or dried distiller's grain with solubles contained phosphates with a significant amount of K, Ca, and Mg. The difference in phosphate speciation could not solely be explained by the combustion conditions and the elemental composition of the ash fractions. These results show that it is necessary to consider the chemical association of P in the fuel to predict the type of phosphates that will form in fluidized bed combustion ashes.

Published in

Energy and Fuels
2020, Volume: 34, number: 4, pages: 3984-3995

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Energy Engineering

    Publication Identifiers


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