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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Influence of Phosphorus on Alkali Distribution during Combustion of Logging Residues and Wheat Straw in a Bench-Scale Fluidized Bed

Grimm, Alejandro; Skoglund, Nils; Bostrom, Dan; Boman, Christoffer; Ohman, Marcus


The influence of phosphorus on the alkali distribution in fluidized (quartz) bed combustion using two different typical biomasses (logging residues and wheat straw) was studied. Phosphoric acid (H3PO4) was used as an additive. The produced ash fractions were analyzed for morphology and elemental composition by scanning electron microscopy-energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), and crystalline phases by powder X-ray diffraction (P-XRD). For both fuel assortments tested, a reduction of volatilized deposit and fine particle-forming matter, containing mainly KCl, was achieved by adding phosphorus. For the wheat straw, this effect was considerable at medium and high phosphorus addition. As a consequence, an increased amount of potassium was found in the coarse ash particle fractions, principally as CaKPO4, KMgPO4, and CaK2P2O7, at the same time that the levels of HCl and SO2 in the flue gases increased. Generally, the addition of phosphorus to the studied biomasses changed the alkali distribution from being dominated by amorphous K-silicate coarse ash fractions and fine particulate KCl, to a system dominated by crystalline coarse ash of K-Ca/Mg-phosphates and fine particulate K2SO4. This implies that the fouling and high-temperature corrosion observed in industrial-scale combustion of problematic biofuels can possibly be reduced by employing additives rich in reactive phosphorus, on the condition that the higher concentrations of acidic gases can be tolerated. In order to achieve these effects, the relationship between alkali and alkaline-earth metals (i.e., (K + Na)/(Ca + Mg)) in the overall fuel ash must be considered. With respect to this, the formation of low-temperature-melting alkali-rich phosphates should not be promoted, to avoid potential increases in bed agglomeration tendencies and phosphorus release from the bed.

Published in

Energy and Fuels
2012, Volume: 26, number: 5, pages: 3012-3023

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Chemical Process Engineering
    Inorganic Chemistry

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