Bio-coke (BIC, highly densified biomass briquette), a newly developed biomass fuel as an alternative to coal coke which utilized in blast furnace, is employed in this study. This fuel is manufactured in highly compressed and moderate temperature conditions and has advantages in its versatility of biomass resources, high volumetric calorific value and high mechanical strength. Japanese knotweed is chosen as a biomass resource and is shaped into cylinder (48 mm in diameter and 85 mm in length). One of the most important characteristics of BIC is its high apparent density (1300 kg/m3; twice or more than that of an ordinary wood pellet). In the present study, combustion characteristics of a single BIC fuel in high temperature air flow (473–873 K, 550–750 NL/min.) are investigated. Air is preheated and blown to the bottom surface of the BIC. Ignition and subsequent combustion behavior are observed with monitoring gas temperature near the BIC, surface and inside the BIC temperature, and time dependent mass loss of the BIC is measured. In the case with low air temperature, low heat flux from the fuel surface leads to the broad temperature distribution inside the BIC accompanied by the increase in ignition delay time and, then, once ignition takes place degradation rate becomes larger than the case with high temperature air. On the other hand, mass loss rate for the case of solid surface combustion in the high temperature air does not depend on the air temperature but does depend on the air flow rate, which is a result of reduced degradation rate relating to narrow temperature distribution in depth caused by short ignition delay time. Consequently, it is suggested that the history of preheating, i.e. the preheated condition which is determined by air temperature and air flow rate, is an essential factor to determine the ignition mode in the early stage of BIC combustion and the mass burning velocity in the period of main combustion with flame. It is found that the mass loss rate of BIC in the gas-phase combustion period increases with decrease in supplied air temperature in this study.

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