Biomass Co-firing Project

The Biomass co-firing project, being carried out in co-operation with E.ON Benelux aims at providing solutions to the technological challenges emanating from co-firing greater percentages of biomass in large utility boilers.

There are essentially two aspects to the work being carried out at the TU Delft in this area:

  • Biomass pre-treatment for high co-firing ratios
    Clean biomass fuels (like wood pellets) are presently more expensive than conventional fossil fuels, owing to lower energy density, scarcity and pre-treatment process which are involved in fuel preparation. If we are to increase biomass co-firing percentages in energy utilities without incurring a large increase in electricity prices, it is necessary to burn fuels which are cheaper and more plentiful than clean wood pellets. Unfortunately, combusting these fuels also involves overcoming quite a few technological challenges, some of them being: fuel comminution (grinding), improving the fuel's combustion characteristics and dealing with slagging and fouling issues.
    We work on developing pre-treatment techniques which help in tackling the issues mentioned above.
    For more information, contact Yash Joshi.
  • Resolving slagging and fouling issues 
    Biomass fuels have an ash composition which is quite unlike that of coal. The difference is characterized by larger quantities of alkali metals (sodium / potassium) and larger ratio of chlorine to sulphur. Such criteria (and more) lead to a difference in slagging and fouling behavior within the boiler. One interesting means of resolving these issues concerns smart blending, which is essentially complementing properties by blending certain types of coals with specific biomass types. We look into fundamentally understanding ash behavior, and trying to find solutions to these problems, with a special view of resolving issues relating ash deposition in SCR catalysts.
    For more information, contact Piotr Plaza