Journal of Thermal Science
School of Engineering
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions.
Staged combustion of biomass is the most suitable thermo-chemical conversion for achieving lower gaseous emissions and higher fuel conversion rates. In a staged fixed bed combustion of biomass, combustion air is supplied in two stages. In the first stage, primary air is provided below the fuel, whereas in the later stage, secondary air is supplied in the freeboard region. The available literature on the effects of air staging (secondary air location) at a constant primary air flow rate on combustion characteristics in a batch-type fixed bed combustor is limited and hence warrants further investigations. This study resolves the effect of air staging, by varying the location of secondary air in the freeboard at five secondary to total air ratios in a batch-type fixed bed combustor. Results are reported for the effects of these controlled parameters on fuel conversion rate, overall gaseous emissions (CO2, CO and NOx) and temperature distributions. The fuel used throughout was densified hardwood pellets. Results show that a primary freeboard length (distance between fuel bed top and secondary air injection) of 200 mm has higher fuel conversion rates and temperatures as well as lower CO emissions, at a secondary to total air ratio of 0.75 as compared to primary freeboard length of 300 mm. However, NOx emissions were found to be lower for a primary freeboard length of 300 mm as compared to 200 mm. An increase in secondary to total air ratio from 0.33 to 0.75 resulted in higher freeboard temperatures and lower CO as well as NOx emissions. The outcomes of this study will be helpful in the effective design of commercial scale biomass combustors for more efficient and environmentally friendly combustion.
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