Modelling of ash and deposit formation for biomass co-firing in pulverized fuel boilers

Marco Losurdo, M.Sc.

Dr. Bart Venneker

Dr. ir. Rob Korbee (ECN Biomass)


Project Manager




  • Prof. dr.- ing. H. Spliethoff







  • ECN - Energy research Centre of the Netherlands








    Involved People:

    Facilities used:


    The thermal use of secondary fuels, biomass or waste, compared to the other renewable energy sources represents a cheap and technically feasible short-term option to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions. The European Union has set a goal to increase the share of biomass fuels from 3% in 1995 up to 8% in 2010.
    Biomass co-firing activities, both in retrofit and new plants, are expected to expand significantly in the word in the incoming years and to contribute to the above mentioned goal. However, co-utilisation of biomass or wastes, has consequences on combustion behaviour inside the boiler, emissions and residual matter (utilasation of by-products). This project focuses on the slagging and fouling behaviour, because co-firing of biomass materials with coal in large utility boilers may increase ash deposition on boiler surface.


    The object is to model the ash and deposition behaviour in large scale combustion installation. CINAR 3D CFD code will be used to calculate the fluid flow field, combustion and heat transfer in boilers. The code will be extended with an ash deposition model, which should be capable to predict fly ash formation, transport of ash particles to boiler (heat exchange) surfaces. Deposition model will be based on experimental data gained by advanced ash analysis methods like Computer-Controlled Scanning Electron Microscopy (CCSEM). The results will be verified with lab-scale and pilot-scale experimental data.

    Work programme

    The research project will be carried out in close co-operation with the unit ECN Biomass of the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) in Petten and CINAR in London. The co-operation with CINAR implies that it is foreseen in principle to apply their CFD codes for fluid flow and combustion simulation. The close co-operation requires with ECN Biomass requires that approx. 50% of the time must be spent at ECN in Petten, using their facilities, experimental methods and modelling tools as developed and used at the Section Energy Technology of TU Delft and at ECN Biomass. At ECN Biomass, day-to-day supervision and coaching will be conducted by Rob Korbee.