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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Combustion characteristics of straw stored with CaCO3 in bubbling fluidized bed using quartz and olivine as bed materials

Bozaghian, Marjan; Rebbling, Anders; Larsson, Sylvia H.; Thyrel, Mikael; Xiong, Shaojun; Skoglund, Nils


The addition of Ca-containing compounds can reduce mass loss from agricultural biomass during storage. The resulting alkaline environment is detrimental to microorganisms present in the material. Theoretical analysis of Ca-containing biomass suggests that combustion properties are improved with respect to slagging. To validate the theoretical calculations, barley straw was utilized as a typical model agricultural biomass and combustion characteristics of straw pre-treated with 2 and 4 w/w% CaCO3 for combined improvement of storage and combustion properties were determined through combustion at 700 degrees C in a bench-scale bubbling fluidized-bed reactor (5 kW) using quartz and olivine sand as bed materials. The combustion characteristics were determined in terms of elemental composition and compound identification in bed ash and bed material including agglomerates, fly ash, particulate matter as well as flue gas measurements. The addition of CaCO3 to straw had both positive and negative effects on its combustion characteristics. Both additive levels raised the total de fluidization temperature for both quartz and olivine, and olivine proved to be less susceptible than quartz to reactions with alkali. With Ca-additives, the composition of deposits and fine particulate matter changed to include higher amounts of KCl potentially leading to higher risk for alkali chloride-induced corrosion. Flue gas composition was heavily influenced by CaCO3 additives by significantly elevated CO concentrations likely related to increased levels of gaseous alkali compounds. The results suggest that it is necessary to reduce gaseous alkali compounds, e.g. through kaolin or sulphur addition, if alkali-rich straw is to be co-combusted with Ca-rich biomass or large amounts of Ca-additives.


Agricultural biomass; Barley straw; Calcium additive; Biomass storage; Fluidized bed combustion; Ash chemistry

Published in

Applied Energy
2018, Volume: 212, pages: 1400-1408