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Reference Number EP/F061188/1
Title Optimisation of Biomass/Coal Co-Firing Processes through Integrated Measurement and Computational Modelling
Status Completed
Energy Categories FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(Coal, Coal combustion) 50%;
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Bio-Energy, Applications for heat and electricity) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 50%;
Applied Research and Development 50%;
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 90%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 10%;
Principal Investigator Professor M Pourkashanian
No email address given
Energy Resources Research Unit
University of Leeds
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 September 2008
End Date 31 August 2011
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £360,582
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor M Pourkashanian , Energy Resources Research Unit, University of Leeds (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Professor A Williams , Energy Resources Research Unit, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Dr L Ma , Computational Fluid Dynamics, University of Leeds (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Research Partner in China (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Note : these three grants are linked : EP/F060882/1, EP/F061307/1, EP/F061188/1
Abstract Co-firing biomass with coal at existing power plant is widely adopted as one of the main technologies for reducing CO2 emissions in the UK and the rest of the world. Despite various advances in developing the co-firing technology, a range of technological issues remain to be resolved due to the inherent differences in the physical and combustion properties between biomass and coal. Typical problems associated with co-firing include poor flame stability, low thermal efficiency, and slagging andfouling. This project aims to achieve the optimisation of biomass/coal co-firing processes through a combination of advanced fuel characterisation, integrated measurement and computational modelling.In the area of fuel characterisation, both thermo-gravimetric analysis and automated image analysis techniques in conjunction with conventional fuel analysis methods will be combined to achieve comprehensive characterisation of biomass and biomass/coal blends from a wide range of sources.Because of the physical differences between biomass and coal the fluid dynamics of the biomass/coal/air three-phase flow in the fuel lines feeding the burners is rather complex and very little is known in this area of science. It is proposed in this project to develop an instrumentation technology capable of measuring the basic parameters of the biomass/coal particles in the fuel lines on an on-line continuous basis. The system will allow the monitoring and optimisation of the fuel delivery to the burners. The instrumentation technology combines novel electrostatic sensing and digital imaging principlesand embedded system design methodology. The flow parameters to be measured include particle size distribution, velocity and concentration of biomass/coal particles as well as biomass proportion in the blend. It is known that biomass addition and variations in coal diet can have a significant impact on combustion stability and co-firing efficiency. As part of this project, a system incorporatingdigital imaging devices and solid state optical detectors will be developed for the continuous monitoring of the burner conditions and flame stability under co-firing conditions.Computational modelling provides a powerful supplementary tool to experimental measurement in the studies of three-phase flow and combustion flame characteristics. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling techniques willbe applied in this project to investigate the dynamic behaviours of irregular biomass particles and their blends with pulverised coal in the fuel lines and associated combustion characteristics particularly flame stability. CFD modelling techniques will also be applied to study the impact of biomass addition on ash deposition and formation of slagging and fouling. The measurements from the flowmetering and flame monitoring systems will be integrated to establish and validate the CFD models. Meanwhile, the modelling results will be used to interpret the practical measurements under awide range of conditions.The project consortium comprises three academic centres of expertise including Kent, Leeds and Nottingham. Collaborative arrangements with three leading research centres in China have been established in addition to support from power generation organizations in the UK and China. Following the design and implementation of the instrumentation systems and computational modeling work, experimental work will be performed on combustion test rigs in both countries. The instrumentation systems and computational models will then be scaled up for full scale power stations. Demonstration trials will be undertaken to assess the efficacy of the advanced fuel characterisation techniques, the performance and operability of the instrumentation systems, and the validity of the computational models under a range of co-firing conditions. Recommendations for the optimization of co-firing processes at existing power plant and on the design of new plant will be reported
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 17/03/08